South Square Centre is 12 interconnected Grade II listed workers cottages set around a cobbled courtyard. There are a range of arts, heritage and community-led activities including exhibitions, workshops, traineeships and events. On site there are contemporary art galleries, community and workshop spaces as well as the many small businesses including Plenty at the Square Café, Rushworth’s Fine Art Framers, and recently launched bar The Watchmaker. Importantly South Square also provides a safe and publicly accessible home for Thornton Antiquarian Societies local history archive; as well as 14 artist studio spaces.
In 2020 the building was handed to the community, through a community asset transfer for the next 99 years from Bradford Council. This has enabled a total of £925,000 to be secured for the project with funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund,Arts Council England, Garfield Weston, Swire Charitable Trust and Bradford Council.
In late 1970s the workers cottages that make up South Square were in a poor state of repair, and were renovated by 30 unemployed people with funding from the Manpower Services Scheme. Since then many volunteers, local people and staff have sustained a vibrant programme of arts, crafts and community activities.
South Square encourages those interested in getting involved and volunteering as part of the arts, community, heritage and conservation activities to get in touch.
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