Transformational Huddersfield Town Centre Plan Launched

Kirklees Cultural Heart

A public consultation gets underway today on the Cultural Heart, the centrepiece of our £250m blueprint to transform Huddersfield town centre.

The Cultural Heart 

The Kirklees Cultural Heart plan seeks to breathe new life into an eight-acre area around Queensgate and the Piazza by giving it a new focus based on culture and leisure.

The Cultural Heart forms part of the Huddersfield Blueprint: a 10-year vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre. It’s also part of a wider Kirklees ambition to invest in town centres across the borough. The town centres include Dewsbury, Batley, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Holmfirth.

The vison is to create an inclusive space where families, residents and visitors can enjoy a vibrant mix of music, arts, food and more in one central area, overlooking a stunning new urban park.

What do the plans include?

The consultation offers members of the public the opportunity to have a say on the pioneering plan.

Major changes would see:

  • The Queensgate market building refurbished to house a vibrant new food hall that will celebrate local and independent traders and provide a new hub for social dining.
  • A modern and welcoming library – featuring bright, flexible and collaborative community spaces. This will be accommodated within the existing east wing of the market building and in a new extension to the north.
  • The existing Huddersfield Library building will be refurbished. A contemporary extension will be added to transform it into a dedicated new museum space. The space will showcase some of Huddersfield’s remarkable stories.
  • A brand-new multi-purpose entertainment venue with a capacity of up to 2,200 will be created. The venue will be for major concerts, live shows, conferences and exhibitions. A new modern multi-storey car park will be built below the entertainment venue, with around 350 spaces.
  • A modern new art gallery space on Queen Street and home to iconic works by Francis Bacon, L.S. Lowry, Henry Moore and Harold Gilman.
  • The new public square will become an active centrepiece that hosts regular community and cultural events and gatherings of up to 3,000 people.
  • The museum garden will become a place to rest within the busy town centre environment. The space could showcase art installations and sculptures.
  • A new landmark urban park will make the Cultural Heart a unique place. This will act as a key link between the Cultural Heart and wider town centre.

The pre-planning consultation builds on consultation feedback received so far. It is hoped that community feedback can further help shape the development of the important plans.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to redefine one of the great Northern towns. An investment like the Cultural Heart is an investment for Kirklees. It will be a major catalyst to stimulate further investment and economic growth, including jobs.

“The overall aim is to create a welcoming destination that’s open to all, and to bring new people into the town centre, including Kirklees residents and visitors from further afield.

“We are very fortunate to have incredible heritage buildings in the centre of Huddersfield and these plans will not only revitalise some of Huddersfield town centre’s most-loved buildings, but they will also have the opportunity to shine among new contemporary buildings and a range of high-quality outdoor spaces.”

Michael Grace, director and strategic lead for Turner & Townsend and the strategic development partner for the Cultural Quarter, said:

“The redevelopment will transform this part of the town creating family friendly space and buildings for local business and the community to thrive and flourish. The development will welcome visitors by day and night. It will be a place to enjoy, whether that’s through public art or space for children to play.

“This is a truly accessible destination and we’ve worked closely with the scheme’s architects to listen to initial feedback. The public spaces have been carefully designed around the proposed new buildings, key transport drop-off points and interlinking walking routes.”

Have your say 

The pre-planning application public consultation on the proposal will run until Sunday June 19 and local businesses and communities are being invited to view and comment on the plans here: http://www.kirkleesculturalheart.co.uk

The website has a virtual exhibition available. Visitors can explore a virtual room full of information banners, display boards and maps that outline the Cultural Heart plans and ambitions in more detail.

View the plans

The plans will be on display in a unit on the Piazza over the coming weeks.

The unit will open tomorrow (Tuesday May 24) and will be open on:

  • Mondays from 8am to 11am
  • Tuesdays from 12pm to 3pm
  • Wednesdays from 3pm to 6pm
  • Thursdays 8am to 11am
  • Fridays 12pm to 3pm

Over the Jubilee Bank Holiday, the unit will be closed. However, the unit will be open on the weekend of June 11 and 12 from 12pm to 3pm.

The drop in information centre will close on June 17 ahead of the end of the consultation.

What happens next? 

This current phase of consultation will help us and our partners to continue to develop the design proposals for the Cultural Heart.

Another phase of consultation will be held later in the summer. This is prior to submitting a planning application in the autumn.

Find out more

For more details, including information in different formats and languages, email info@kirkleesculturalheart.co.uk or phone 0808 175 4300 or write to: FREEPOST Cultural Heart.