We’ve submitted four big bids for ambitious regeneration projects across Kirklees!

Huddersfield Market

Today, we’ve submitted four bids for government funding, each of which is aimed at improving different areas around Kirklees!

The bids are for the government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) which is all about making investments that will improve everyday life for people up and down the UK.  There’s £4.8billion available to bid for, and bids should have the aim of improving our town centres and high streets, local transport, and cultural and heritage sites.

Our four bids focus on improvements to Batley, Marsden, Northumberland Street market, Huddersfield, and the Penistone railway line.  The bids will be considered completely independently, and there’s nothing stopping us from being awarded funding for more than one.

Batley

The council’s bid for Batley is all about the town centre.  We want to make it a more modern destination, and a safe and inviting environment for everyone.

We want to make significant changes to Commercial Street, one of the main roads running through the town centre.  It’d move away from being dominated by car traffic, and we’d be looking to make access better for pedestrians and cyclists.  We’d also make a lot of improvements to the surrounding spaces and create a great new place for socialising.

We’d also use the funding to bring a prominent but disused building on Commercial Street back to life – what used to be JBM Bargains.  Instead of sitting empty, could be used by another business which would provide more interest in the town centre.

Overall, these improvements to the town centre should drum up more footfall for local businesses, and should also make it easier to access the big Tesco.

We’d also create a fantastic, versatile events space in front of the town hall, allowing Batley to host market days and a wide range of other events.  This is a style of flexible events space that’s already worked well in Huddersfield – look at the events we’ve been able to host in St. George’s Square!

This bid would be for around £ 12 million.

Commercial street visualisation.

Marsden

Our bid for Marsden would focus on Marsden Mills, a mill complex which has sadly stood vacant for years in the town centre.  We want to give the mill a new lease of life!

A key part of the plans is retaining the mill’s historic façade.  The rest of the building would be partially demolished, allowing us to create a new building which would be great for local businesses and the town centre.

Once completed, this new building would be made up of shops and office space, with the potential to turn the top floors into residences.  This would all be surrounded by beautiful landscaping and would encompass a beautiful new courtyard.  The historic façade would, of course, remain a key feature!

The project would be led by private companies and supported by the council.  The bid would be for £5.6million, with private partners providing a further £11.7million towards the plans.

Map of layout.

Northumberland Street market, Huddersfield

Huddersfield has historically been a market town, and our bid for Northumberland Street reflects that.  We want to create a new, improved market on the site of the existing Open Market – a market which would be vibrant and sustainable, focusing on great independent traders with great food and drink offer.

This project would include restoring a Grade 2* Listed building, creating a new open market structure, and making improvements to the areas around the market too.  The Listed building would be restored to its former glory and would become a new indoor market, with nine food and drink outlets, stalls for fresh food and dry goods, and a big shared seating area capable of seating more than 300 people.

We’d also create a new outdoor structure between this building and the Tesco car park, which would be the open-air market offering around 60 stalls.

The project should cost around £ 18 million.

Penistone railway line

This bid is around improving rail connections between Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield, helping trains run more frequently and reliably.

We know there are lots of delays on this line at the moment.  This funding would let us add sections of track between Huddersfield and Barnsley – a big help, as currently, only one train can run at once.  We’d also work with Northern Trains and Network Rail to improve stations and waiting points along the line and look at ways to increase speed limits.

This ties in well with Network Rail’s upcoming work on the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

The bid would be for just under £48million.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, says:

“These bids show the scale of our ambitions across Kirklees.  Each of them is transformative for our economy and they can provide jobs and opportunities for decades to come.  It’s investment like this that offers the best protection against future cost of living crises.

“Our proposals for Batley, Marsden and Northumberland Street in Huddersfield would breathe new life into some of Kirklees’ beautiful historic buildings, while creating exciting new developments to boost our local economy and bring communities together.  Meanwhile, our bid for the Penistone railway line would further strengthen our connections with the north and beyond.

“These plans will modernise our economy, but they’re also in tune with our local heritage.  We’re making sure what we love about our district, old and new, can survive the test of time and thrive in the twenty-first century.

“Kirklees has a bright economic future.  We already have a major investment programme for our economy and infrastructure, and these projects would help us deliver even more of our incredible potential.”