£250m for Huddersfield town centre

27 June 2019, 07:27 | Updated: 27 June 2019, 07:31

Huddersfield revamp 2

£250 million is going to be spent doing up Huddersfield town centre over the next 10 years.

Kirklees Council has launched The Huddersfield Blueprint - a decade-long vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre.

Taking centre stage is a new "Cultural Heart".

Built around the Queensgate Market and library buildings, the council's vision for a new Cultural Heart includes a library, art gallery, museum and live music venue in the Piazza and Queensgate area.

This would encourage more visitors and will be supported by restaurants, bars, cafes and the Lawrence Batley Theatre.

The Queensgate Market building is being considered for the proposed new 700-1,000-capacity live music venue which will also include studios and tuition spaces and is planned to be completed by 2023.

As part of the new Cultural Heart, the plans also propose to remove some of the Piazza buildings to create a large, family-friendly open space for people to gather.

The Huddersfield Blueprint focuses on regenerating six focus areas in the town centre: Station Gateway, St Peter's, Kingsgate and King Street, New Street, the Civic Quarter and the new Cultural Heart.

Huddersfield revamp

The overall costs of The Blueprint scheme could be up to £250million, with funds coming from national government, private investors, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Kirklees Council.

It looks at delivering five key objectives for Huddersfield Town Centre: a vibrant culture, art, leisure and nightlife offer, thriving businesses, a great place to live, improved access and enhanced public spaces.

A number of plans have been drawn up for each area, with a focus on bringing some of Huddersfield's historic buildings back into use, supporting new and existing businesses and introducing more homes to the town centre.

The plans also look at making access easier through redesigned streets and footpaths as well as greener and cleaner family-focussed public spaces around the town.

An improved bus station, railway station, a new Kingsgate cinema, a potential new hotel and a refurbished Open Market with food and drink traders introduced, all also form part of this ten-year vision.

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: "I am delighted to be able to launch this ambitious plan for Huddersfield. We're committed to seeing our economies thrive and these plans set out how Huddersfield will become a vibrant, family-focused town centre with something for everyone to enjoy.

"Town centres are changing. Whilst we remain committed to ensuring we have a good retail offer throughout Kirklees, more people are now shopping online and the challenge is to develop a different kind of offer to encourage more people into town centres. This means having culture and leisure offers such as theatre, cinema, art and live music.

"The extra visitors will boost business for the existing, diverse local restaurants, bars and cafes in Huddersfield and encourage new ones to open.

"We're ambitious for Huddersfield Town Centre and for the whole of Kirklees and planning is underway to regenerate our other town centres."