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Huddersfield’s £250m regeneration blueprint moves a step closer

Huddersfield councillors will vote next week (February 25) on a £250m blueprint for town centre development, after the public had their say on the plans.

The Huddersfield Blueprint focuses on regenerating six key areas in the town centre – Station Gateway, St Peter’s, Kingsgate and King Street, New Street, the civic quarter and a new ‘cultural heart’ section.

According to the local authority, it will look at delivering five key objectives for Huddersfield’s 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.

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.

The new ‘cultural heart’ area will be built around the Queensgate Market and library buildings and will include an art gallery, museum and live music venue in the Piazza and Queensgate area.

The Queensgate Market building is being considered for the proposed new 700-1,000-capacity live music venue which will also include studios and tuition spaces and is planned to be completed by 2023.

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.

Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: ‘We had such a successful engagement, which really shows how passionate local people are about the future of Huddersfield.

‘We held a three-month engagement on the plans because the most crucial part of regenerating any area in Kirklees is that it works for the people that live here and that it’s what they want.

‘Taking this step forward will give real weight to deliver the plans, a vision that local people have played a huge part in shaping.’

If approved by cabinet, a four-week public consultation will begin on March 2 2020 – running until 30 March. The comments received will then be analysed and brought back to cabinet for final approval.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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