The Huddersfield Blueprint – a decade of ambition

We have launched The Huddersfield Blueprint – a ten-year £250million vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre.

What is it all about?

Taking centre stage within the Huddersfield Blueprint, launched on 26 June at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, 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.

Why is this important

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 will include 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. Kirklees Council has recently acquired the Piazza Shopping Centre.

What else is happening?

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.

How much will it cost?

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.

What about access?

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.

A thriving Huddersfield Town Centre will benefit the whole of Kirklees and will help the council support its ambitious vision for growth within the district up to 2031, as set out in the Local Plan.

The Huddersfield Blueprint is part of the council’s wider Economic Strategy which plans to deliver growth and success throughout all towns, villages and valleys in the region, allowing every resident, business and organisation to reach their potential.

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.”

Cllr Peter McBride, Deputy Leader of Kirklees Council and Cabinet Member for Economy, said:

“Huddersfield is a remarkable place to live, work and invest but it has even more potential and with this Blueprint for the town centre, we’re aiming high.

Huddersfield will be a family-friendly town centre that attracts people from far and wide with its famous Cultural Heart, a place with theatre, art, music and more all in one place.

We want to better connect the town centre, making it easier for pedestrians and cyclists and improved train and bus stations with better facilities will make Huddersfield a key destination. More town centre homes will add an energy to the town centre.

The Huddersfield Blueprint is our vision for the future of the town centre but we want local people to help us shape it. Please take the time to see the plans in full and take part in our consultation when we launch it.”

The plans are subject to a three-month consultation and engagement period which will begin in the coming weeks. This will involve an online platform as well as face to face interviews with residents and a drop-in shop in the town centre. For more information, a fly through video on the plans and to download the Blueprint document in full visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/HuddersfieldBlueprint

21 comments

  • It’s great to see such inspiration for the town which I hope does happen. However it doesn’t show any plans whatsoever to upgrade the run down area of New Street South apart from the conversion of the Coop end building, I’d hope this would be tied in too.
    My other point would be to make any street parking in the town centre disabled parking only and everyone else can use the carparks.
    I would also have gone that extra mile and linked the railway station to the bus station via a special subway, so people can go from one to the other much easier to link up public transport, coming out on St Georges Street, avoiding the train lines.

  • Brilliant , can’t wait to see it happen .shame you can’t demolish the whole market hall.We don’t need it anymore .

    • The market hall is going to be used as a live music venue, plus its a listed building , because of the Hyperbolic paraboloid section viewed from the ring road.

    • We may not need the Market Hall anymore, but we have to look at how well it represents the period in which it was built and the terracotta sculptures. Should this have been demolished it too would have been mourned in years to come like the loss of the Theatre Royal, the Wonderful Art Deco Ritz Theatre, and the original market hall. We have to move forward, but we also have to respect the past

  • Look forward to following the 10 year plan to improve Huddersfield its well over due, I hope it brings Huddersfield back to life.

  • like the look of the new piazza however not sure am keen on the new build on front of the already beautiful library building..I like the current facade ? there are other buildings that would benefit more from a new facade…I agree that New street really is looking quite tatty and especially the South part ..green spaces and regeneration definitely needed there
    Am not keen on the Queensgate market either ..ugly building and really has seen better days..something huge needs to change there
    would love to see a cinema and music venue and also would be great to have something like Lane 7 in other cities where all age groups can go ten pin bowling/playing pool/ ping pong/table tennis etc eat/drink. feels like for pre teens there is very little to do but this appeals to adults too and would be very well attended.

  • Good to see this ambitious blueprint for the Town centre. Having moved away many years ago it would be inappropriate to comment on specific plans, but I will say this: the developers; architects; landscape designers must all be top notch, proven in their fields to deliver buildings and public realm spaces which match the quality of the Victorian architecture already in place. This must be designed and built to last. The ambition for change is admirable. Hopefully architectural competitions will match that long-term ambition. I look forward to following progress on my many visits to the John Smith’s Stadium.

  • Given the fact that earlier in the year the Council declared Climate Emergency one would hope that this plan includes more trees and diverse wild flower beds to enhance the environment for other species.

  • Charles Woodbridge

    One comment – what about renewable energy, to help lower the energy bills and carbon footprint.

  • It is good to hear that money is being spent to improve Huddersfield Town centre. I just wish we could have something along the same lines for Dewsbury which has been forgotten by everyone and seems to just be going downhill with hardly anything left.

  • Excellent plan. Let us hope that the money becomes available to support the vision

  • I am wary of grand plans because so often what is realised is nothing like what is hoped for because all the money promised doesn,t materialise or is simply withdrawn at a key stage in the process leaving a mess. I also urge the council to make sure that there is no overspend allowed . Sorry to throw cold water on what could be great .

    At the moment public transport seems to almost disapear in the evening the plan should also look at how people can be encouraged to use public transport rather than private cars when moving round Kirklees.

  • I really can’t see all this happening. This is Kirklees Council after all.

  • How about you spend some money on resurfacing the roads so people can enjoy the drive in and out of Huddersfield! Also, increase in parking is a must!

  • Paul Hinchliffe

    The shame is destroying the victorian market in 70s. That should have been refurbished. I worked in the piazza market to hot in summer and freezing in the winter. A heartless, tasteless and useless building. Dont touch the library the best building left in the town centre.

  • Sounds great but do you understand how remote Huddersfield is from the residents of Birkenshaw in north Kirklees? We don’t have a direct public transport service to Huddersfield. It’s a bus into Bradford and then another bus to Huddersfield.Spend some of the money on better transport links. Please think about ALL the residents of Kirklees.

  • Typical that money is once again spent in Huddersfield when a few years ago the dewsbury crematorium could have been rebuilt for a fraction of the money they have wasted on so called improvements to it but once again that money was spent on building a new sports centre in Huddersfield and now with all the backlog and upset that is going at at dewsbury crem we see the failings of Kirklees council and the bias towards Huddersfield how do they sleep at night !!

  • I am keen to see/understand how this project benefits “the whole of Kirklees”, i.e. the 40% who live in the Heavy Woollen Area, very many of whom rarely visit Huddersfield (at the moment).

  • Is the person responsible for the design of the proposed modern block in front of the historic library building the same person who designed the wooden shed in front of the unique Victorian conservatory in Greenhead Park by any chance?.

  • Excellent for the residents of Huddersfield, rather less so for those in North Kirklees and in particular those towns in the Spen Valley, where there appear to be no plans to regenerate/improve, as has been the case for the past decade. When are we to be considered for investment? Council seems happy to consider our area for significant employment and housing development but not for infrastructure and improved facilities. A proportionate slice of the cake is not an unreasonable request.

  • Huddersfield has been going dowhill for a good few years. Why have wait till now? You’ve lost a lot of good shops, it could take a lot to get them back. Barnsley is going to be a great place to visit in 2020, Halifax is a nice place to go, we went to Rotherham last week, that is a nice place. There’s just a handful of shops that I visit in Huddersfield and the Queensgate, you’ve let the stall holders down.

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