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High level of interest in University of Bradford’s former business school HQ mansion house


Heaton Mount campus

Places filling up for final viewing day

Places are already filling up for the final viewing day for the sale of one of Bradford’s historic mansion houses, the Grade II-listed Heaton Mount/Emm Lane complex.

The 14-acre site, described as “an exquisite example of the Italian architectural style” is being marketed on a freehold basis subject to informal tender. Boasting an internal area of 121,000sq ft (11,240sq m) it has potential for a variety of uses, subject to necessary consents. 

Two viewing dates have already taken place, with a third and final date scheduled for January 12. To date, more than 50 parties have registered an interest in the site, which boasts three Grade II-listed buildings, the largest of which, Heaton Mount, was built for businessman and treasurer of the Bradford Liberal Electoral Association for several years by Robert Kell in 1886.

Dai Powell, from marketing agents Avison Young, said: “Thus far we have been pleased with the level of interest shown in what is a unique site in Bradford, boasting a range of facilities and opportunities in terms of future use.”

The University is selling the estate following the successful relocation of the Faculty of Management and Law and consolidation of other educational provisions onto City Campus.

Although bids to purchase parts of the property may be considered, it is the University’s strong preference to sell in a single transaction. Informal tenders are invited by 1pm on Friday January 29, 2021.

Further detailed bidder guidance, including bid submission advice and detailed information pack, contact Avison Young on 0113 292 5500 or

History of the site

Heaton Mount was built in 1886. It was sold to textile manufacturer John Ambler for £9,750 in the 1890s. Over the years it has been a family home and a school and in 1955 there was a legal battle to stop Shell Mex and BP Ltd developing the grounds into a filling station. It was purchased by the University in 1967 to form the headquarters of its expanding business school.

The estate comprises nine buildings, including the GradeII-listed Emm Lane Building and adjoining Sir Titus Salt Building, 44,600sq ft (4,144sq m), which includes a lecture theatre, restaurant and atrium. Heaton Mount, 24,200sq ft (2,249sq m), also Grade II-listed, includes a 42-bedroom hotel extension, complete with dining and professional kitchen facilities, meeting facilities and adjacent lecture halls and boasts a civil wedding licence. Various other buildings variously used as offices, classrooms and accommodation, among them the 7,000sq ft (651sq m) Vernon Barnby Hall, which contains 25 bedrooms. There are also several car parks, providing 150 spaces.

Heaton Mount was one of the first houses to be built in the area. Its frontage is 90ft, not counting the large conservatory. Striking features in the façade include extremely large bay windows on either side of the porch which are carried up to the roof and have interior dimensions of 15ft by 7ft, almost forming small rooms in themselves.

Entrance is gained through a square, open portico supported by two fluted Corinthian columns and two plain pilasters with Corinthian capitals flanking the doorway. The entrance doors of polished oak, glazed with thick sheets of plate glass, allow for an uninterrupted view of the magnificent central hall - one of the largest in the district, measuring 46ft by 22ft - with its broad double staircase and large painted glass window. Two pillars at the foot of the stairs are of oak carved in high relief in a most detailed fashion, with foxgloves and other flowers and topped by large gun-metal figures carrying lamps.


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