Plans to transform a prominent town centre building, which has suffered from years of neglect, are to escalate following investment from a local property business, and a £10m council loan.
Members of Kirklees Council’s Cabinet approved SKA Developments’ plans to convert the long-disused Co-op building on New Street in Huddersfield into 75 student apartments earlier this year.
The investment will allow the Huddersfield-based developer to start transforming the building.
The proposals include a three-storey extension to the existing building, creating 135 student bedrooms through 75 apartments. They will feature one and two bedroom studios, with communal kitchen and lounge areas, along with one-bedroom self-contained apartments.
Zeb Pervaiz, SKA Developments’ director, said: “We take great pride in being able to transform this site, which will be brought back to life thanks to our investment and the loan provided by the Property Investment Fund. Kirklees Council have been really supportive of our project, and we look forward to working closely with them to deliver this scheme.”
He added: “We’ve worked towards this goal for more than six years, so to see it finally come to fruition is fantastic. SKA has developed a unique brand and this development provides a great opportunity to deliver an iconic project in the heart of the town, and one that the whole community can be proud of.”
Coun Graham Turner, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “Finding a new purpose for former commercial and retail property is a key strand of our approach to supporting town centres. The prominent position of this particular building has a negative impact on Huddersfield. It has been a difficult site for a number of years and we welcome a local company developing it.
“We are pleased to be utilising the Property Investment Fund, which was created as part of our commitment to regeneration in a very difficult financial climate.
“This scheme will not only revitalise a disused building. It will also bring more residential property into the town centre, boosting the local economy.
“This is just the sort of scheme we set up the investment fund to support, and another good another example of the council’s commitment to regenerate Huddersfield. We will be working in partnership with a local company with an excellent track record.”
Coun Peter McBride, cabinet member for economy, added: “Redevelopment of 103 New Street will help this important area of the town centre. The proposal for residential use will increase footfall and help to increase town centre vibrancy.”
SKA Developments’ proposals aim to build on its previous projects in the town centre, including the £5m Standard House student scheme in 2016, and the Dundas Works scheme, which will be opened in the coming weeks.