Kirklees Council to press accelerator on £200m Huddersfield regeneration schemes

Kirklees Council is set to speed up the delivery of town centre improvements for Huddersfield, including a new food court and event space and a new urban park, as well as a new library, museum and art gallery.

Kirklees Council hopes to accelerate the delivery of town centre improvements for Huddersfield, including an urban park.

Next week, councillors will be asked to endorse an accelerated process for delivering the £200m scheme as the council commits to economic recovery across Kirklees.

The Cultural Heart project is the centrepiece of the council’s Blueprint for Huddersfield a 10-year programme of economic and infrastructure improvements for the town.

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With the disruption caused to local businesses by the pandemic, the council has been working to find ways to bring the plans forward more quickly.

By setting up a dedicated delivery team to oversee the project, the council believes it can save time in moving the projects from the drawing board to construction while making sure the work has maximum economic impact.

A report to be considered by the council’s cabinet will ask councillors to appoint a strategic delivery partner to drive the Cultural Heart programme forwards. The move will save the council at least six months in appointing a team and means it can rely on industry experts to move into the delivery phases of the projects.

The plan means the council could be in position to have its business plan ready as early as July 2022 with planning and construction work for each project to follow.

Coun Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “Make no mistake, a thriving Huddersfield is essential for the economic health of everyone in Kirklees.”

Coun Eric Firth, cabinet member for town centres, added: “There’s a real sense of urgency about our work in town centres as we look to recover from the pandemic.”

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James Mitchinson