We have taken the first step towards delivering the Cultural Heart

We have taken our first step towards delivering The Huddersfield Blueprint after striking a deal with the owners of the Piazza Shopping Centre to purchase it.

What is the blueprint?

The Huddersfield Blueprint was successfully launched at an event at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on Wednesday 26 June.

The plans look to deliver 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.

What is the Cultural Heart?

Our vision for a new Cultural Heart, built around the Queensgate Market and library building includes; a library, art gallery, museum and live music venue in the Piazza and Queensgate area.

What are our plans?

As part of the new Cultural Heart, the plans propose to remove buildings in the Piazza area to create a large, family-friendly open space for people to gather. The council acquired the Piazza on 14 June.

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:

“This shows how serious we are about bringing this ambitious vision to life. The work in delivering this starts now. This step forward is a signal of intent and shows that we are a council that delivers.

Current tenants have been informed and the council will continue to work closely with them to ensure they are part of our future plans.

Given how much people’s shopping habits have radically changed, the challenge for every high street, including Huddersfield’s, 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.”

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

“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.

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

How can I get involved?

The plans are subject to a three-month consultation and engagement period which will begin on Monday 8 July. Residents can view the plans at the Blueprint shop at Unit 32, the Piazza Centre, Huddersfield from 8 July. The shop will be open Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm.

For more information, to view the plans in full and to watch a fly-through video visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/HuddersfieldBlueprint – where you’ll also be able to share your thoughts on the plans from Monday 8 July.

9 comments

  • Love the changes to the piazza but can you please make sure that the access arrangements are suitable. Love the Piece Hall but for visually impaired people it is very difficult and dangerous.

    • It may not be very environmentally friendly but let’s make sure there is still enough parking in Huddersfield town centre

  • Barbara Rushforth

    most of the Huddersfield town centre, as it is now, is inaccessible to people with mobility problems. I have a blue badge but if I park in the multi story it is too far for me to walk to the market or the library or the Piazza. Live music would be good but how would I get to it to sit and listen|?
    .

  • All looks very ambitious by a council that couldn’t even keep M&S in Huddersfield! It took years to even get Kingsgate completed never mind all this lot. Good job we have a wonderful theatre.

  • Tony Hodkinson

    Need to remove bus gates to allow better access and encourage people to come instead of fining them.

  • Phil Danielson

    I know this is fine detail, but are you considering demolishing the parts of the market hall that are not listed , ie the arcade entries from the Piazza, they are so ugly and run down from the outside . Also would it not be better to reimagine the hall as a conference/ exhibition space rather than just a live music venue, as a hotel is to be build next to it , perhaps in collaboration with the university .

    • Hi Phil, I’d really like to chat with you about Huddersfield – can’t give too much detail publically but I have sent you a facebook message with more info (it may have gone into your other messages folder, or message request folder) have a look and let me know what you think? Many thanks.

  • My husband has just shown me the Kirklees Council’s design plans for the Piazza. I was extremely shocked. Please, please say this is not official. I think I had better bullet point the Advantages and Disadvantages, as I see them and hope that someone with some sense take note of these.
    Advantages:
    • Steps to sit on (which we already have) …
    Disadvantages:
    • Shoe box design building covering the side view of our iconic library. (I thought, at first sight, this was a marquis for summer fetes) Hideous!
    • Grass; I love grass, being a very keen gardener, but please, think again. I know all too well that this is a cheap fix and looks good on the design plans but think about the long term. If you want to attract more people to this ‘Cultural Heart’ are you going to put up ‘keep off the grass’ signs around the grassed areas? Otherwise what do you think it will look like after some heavy use? Seriously, grass steps?
    • Shopping. The Piazza offered an excellent shopping venue en route to Queensgate and parking and it offered a covered walkway. Extortionate rental costs and poor quality building structures were the problem here.
    • Rain, or should I write rain, rain, rain. Your design plans show how the ‘Cultural Heart’ will look on a beautiful dry summer’s day. More covered spaces and walkways are needed allowing people dry access across town, which is what we almost have at the moment with the Piazza as it currently is.
    • The large white box covered in white plastic on the design plan? Not sure what it is or why it is there? I think this is the live music venue or stage and the grassed area in front is for people to sit? What is that area going to look like after and event (Glastonbury)?
    • If this area is to become the ‘Cultural Heart’ of Huddersfield, a center for ‘vibrant culture, art, leisure and night life’ then it will be very interesting to see if it really becomes, a ‘valuable addition’ to all the rest of Huddersfield’s collection of night-life venues. As for leisure and art, I have my doubts. I feel it will become another area for a weekend of ‘drunken brawling’ and an area, that Huddersfield residents will avoid.
    What is the Kirklees Council thinking about? Is this what we, the residents of Huddersfield, really want or need in Huddersfield? What will really become of the planned ‘Cultural Heart’ of Huddersfield?
    There are better ways of spending £250-million of taxpayers’ money, such as; improved facilities for the young such as, youth centres, better services and care for the elderly and homes the vulnerable in Huddersfield. This would be a better representation of the real ‘Heart’ of Huddersfield!

    • Hi Susan, these are just initial concept ideas. We need to consult with residents and businesses to make sure that we get the right solutions for the town centre. In the future, we will release more images as things are agreed but as I said these are just initial artists impressions. Hope this helps.

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