We have been shortlisted for £25million in funding to deliver our Huddersfield Blueprint vision

We have been shortlisted for £25million in funding to help deliver Huddersfield Town Centre’s new Cultural Heart.

Where does the funding come from?

In March, 2019 the council submitted a bid for £25million to the Government’s High Street Fund to deliver the centrepiece of its £250million Huddersfield Blueprint which was launched officially on 26 June.

The Government’s Future High Streets Fund aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

What is the 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 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 bought the Piazza Shopping Centre so this vision can be brought to life.

How does this fit in with The Blueprint?

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.

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.

Kirklees Council will be monitoring upcoming Future High Street Fund funding rounds with a view to bid for Dewsbury and Batley town centres next.

The application for Huddersfield has been selected to go forward into the next phase of assessment which will involve the development of a full business case for capital investment by the Future High Streets Fund.

There were more than 300 bids to the fund this time – which was open to all 326 authorities with planning powers – and Kirklees overcame at least 249 other councils (83 per cent), who were not shortlisted.

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:

“I’m delighted that we’ve been shortlisted for the next round and that we’re a step closer to securing this vital funding to help deliver our ambitious vision for Huddersfield town centre. This is an opportunity we grasped with both hands and this shows that the government also has confidence in our Blueprint for Huddersfield.

The future of our town centres is a huge priority for us. We want our town centres to have something for everyone, including families, and this funding would help us take a huge step forward.”

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:

“The launch of the Huddersfield Blueprint has already been very popular with local residents, businesses and organisations and I’d invite everyone to share their thoughts on the plans in the consultation which is now open.

Bringing better culture and leisure experiences to the town centre is crucial to increasing footfall and attracting more visitors. Town centres can no longer rely on retail alone.

“Whilst we’re bidding for funding for Huddersfield in this case, we’re working on a range of projects to improve our other town centres too.”

How can I have my say?

Residents can view the plans and share their thoughts at the Huddersfield Blueprint shop which opened on Monday 8 July, 2019 at Unit 32, the Piazza Centre, Huddersfield Town Centre. The shop will be open Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm.

An online consultation survey will also soon be available for residents to take part in on our website.

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