Originally, this building was known as The Saltaire Club and Institute, with only the main hall called Victoria Hall. Completed in 1871, it was one of the final pieces of Titus Salt’s vision of a model village, providing everything a person needs in life. The institute was intended, first and foremost, to provide a social gathering space for residents (rather than a pub) and, secondly, as an educational institute.
Although not part of the temperance movement, Salt was staunchly opposed to the construction of a public house in his village, having seen many workers in Bradford drink their wages away as soon as they were paid and fail to provide for their families. Residents were free to drink at home or at pubs outside the village but Salt hoped they would be attracted by the more immediate Social Club and Institute.
The building housed rooms for billiards, bagatelle, chess and drafts, reading, classrooms, a library, a laboratory and a large hall for lectures and concerts. It also housed the Schools of Art and Science, which later moved to the Exhibition Building.
Today, the building is managed by the Salt Foundation and provides a venue for community events and weddings.