In the House of Lords on 11th February 2020, Baroness Pinnock asked the Government “what plans they have to bring back into use empty Victorian mills in the Pennine area of the North of England.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, there are some wonderful examples of how old mills being rejuvenated and given new life, such as Salts Mill in Saltaire and Manningham Mills, although there is a vast amount of empty space there. If they were icons of the old northern powerhouse, they are now becoming icons of dereliction. Does the Minister agree that if nothing is going to happen, then it would be better to knock them down? I do not favour that, but there needs to be a strategy that allows these wonderful buildings to be brought back into life, to be given a sort of resurrection.
Baroness Barran: The right reverend Prelate is right: the pattern of development and disrepair is very uneven. It often reflects the strength of the local economy, which in some areas permits commercial redevelopment and in others makes it much more challenging. With our arm’s-length bodies, we are exploring how to address the areas that the right reverend Prelate is concerned about.