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.”