Huddersfield shops to look the business

Our £1.2 million scheme to improve the appearance of shop fronts in Huddersfield Town Centre is open for business.

The scheme, approved by the Cabinet earlier this year, aims to refurbish and replace unsightly shop fronts, create new uses for upper floors in buildings and remove illegal or poorly-designed signage.

Who are we working with?

We will work with traders in the Huddersfield Town Centre Conservation Area and offer them grants to carry out the work. There is a specific focus on historic areas, including John William Street, Westgate and Northumberland Street.

It focusses on properties that have modern shop fronts which do not have planning permission or consent for the signage.

Where will it start?

We have now begun the first phase of the scheme with shops on John William Street.

Grants up to 80 per cent of the total costs of refurbishment, replacement shop fronts and the conversion of upper floors to new uses are currently being offered to businesses in the area.

The scheme was introduced after an inspection found the appearance of some shop fronts were having a negative impact on business.

Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Economy, said:

“John William Street is a key route into town. It has many listed buildings and over time has been subject to a lot of property changes which have negatively impacted on the appearance of the street.

Research has shown that more traditional-looking shop frontages improve the shopping experience and are more likely to increase footfall and spending.

This is a £1.2million investment we’re making to help strengthen our local economy and improve the look of Huddersfield Town Centre.

Buildings in this particular area of Huddersfield Town Centre are listed and the council, as well as those occupying the buildings, has a duty to ensure heritage is protected.

A number of these shop fronts have also been erected without planning permission which is an offence. But we don’t want to punish our business owners, we want to work with them to improve the shopping experience for visitors and increase footfall.

If we want a thriving local economy we need to look like we mean businesses. Unsightly shop fronts not only put off customers but they might also be preventing other investors from setting up shop here.”

5 comments

  • Hi there, I work for a small family run Design and Signage Company based in Huddersfield and wondered if the work to be carried out was a tender for any business in this industry or has this already been allocated? I would be happy to get any feedback on this matter. #Help small businesses #keepitlocal

  • I agree with Chris Hughes, the work should be done by a local firm, let’s start a trend where local trades and business are used and supported. We should not need to import this.

  • It’s disappointing that planning didn’t notice when these shops put up these awful signs to begin with. I would suggest that the leader of the council walks around his town centres more often. I do hope that the signs we as tax payers will be paying for will have to be a heritage colour and font. Also shop windows clear of those awful stickers that cover the whole window, it’s as if they have something to hide. Maybe there should be some kind of competition for the best dressed window, involve the Examiner. It would be lovely to see themed window displays for Christmas, Easter, Eid , summer in bloom with a theme. A type of treasure hunt for children to spot things in the windows. It would encourage people to explore other parts of the town centre. Our town centre is certainly lacking in style and presentation.

  • How on earth have companies been allowed to build and alter shop fronts without permission. What ever happened to local bylaws. However it will wonderful to see the town in it’s original glory

  • In my opinion Kirklees should be more in charge of this by not giving grants of up to 80% of the cost to individual businesses but by undertaking a uniform design for shop fronts with a limited choice of signage styles. This way inflated estimates would not be submitted by businesses to ensure that they actually acquire the full cost from the council.

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