Sir Titus Salt (1803-1876) built the village for his mill workers in a style inspired by the architecture of the Italian Renaissance. He named it after himself (Salt) and the river it is next to (Aire). Three of the five main College buildings are all Grade II listed, providing a unique atmosphere & environment for education, and the Jonathan Silver building was built later in 2015.
Saltaire became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, the same status as the Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon and Great Wall of China! It's one of the most visited areas in Bradford and draws more than 250,000 visitors annually. There are a host of attractions and events in Saltaire as well as the historic cobbled streets and buildings. Saltaire has also been a popular filming location with appearances in The English Game, Peaky Blinders, Agatha Christie and An Inspector Calls.
Salts Mill is home to Europe's largest collection by Bradford's David Hockney, a shopping complex and restaurant.
The Salt Building was custom built by Sir Titus Salt to house Saltaire factory school, which started in the refectory for Salts Mill. The school moved into the new facility in 1868. In 1878, at Sir Titus’s request, the Saltaire Factory school pupils moved to new buildings a few streets away and Salt Building became a High School. We still get visitors who went to school here popping in today.
Victoria Hall opened in 1869 and was also known as the Institute. It was used as a library, dance hall and lecture theatre with meeting rooms, a billiards room and a gymnasium. The hugely successful schools of Science and Art were also housed here until they grew so popular that a purpose-built school was opened in 1887. Today Victoria Hall continues to be a central part of the village as a popular venue for events.
The Exhibition Building opened in 1887 and was built in memory of Sir Titus Salt. It housed the Schools of Art and Science (which had previously been in Victoria Hall) from which Shipley College has developed. The building costs were in part funded by the Royal Yorkshire Jubilee Exhibition, which attracted Royalty to the village. Since then, there have been many changes to ensure that courses and facilities reflect the local community and industry.
The Mill Building was built in 1854 as the refectory or staff canteen for workers at the Mill. Daily, about 600 people sat for breakfast! It also served as a temporary church and the factory school. It later moved to the Salt Building. Today, it still remains true to its educational tradition as part of Shipley College and it has had a refurbishment that ensures it is a vibrant, contemporary place to study.
The Jonathan Silver Building was opened in September 2015 and is the first significant new building in Saltaire for 129 years. The building was named after Jonathan Silver, a Bradford-born entrepreneur who bought Salts Mill in 1987 and subsequently spent ten years transforming it in to the Mill we know today.
The Jonathan Silver Building was designed by local Architects Rance Booth Smith and has won awards for the facilities for students with learning and mobility difficulties.
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