Leeds & West Yorkshire

Huddersfield backs £250m culture plan for more visitors

An artist's impression of the cultural area Image copyright Kirklees Council
Image caption The project represents the biggest redevelopment of the town centre for 50 years.

The £250m "Huddersfield Blueprint" which will re-imagine the centre of the town has been made official.

The ambitious project, revealed last summer, has been made a supplementary planning document by Kirklees Council's decision-making cabinet.

The plan creates a formally applied set of rules for what can be built in the town centre during its regeneration.

The project represents the biggest redevelopment of the town centre for 50 years.

Council Leader Shabir Pandor described it as "a delivery plan and added "We need to start getting stuff done."

Key to the changes will be the demolition of the Piazza, which will make way for what planners are calling the "cultural heart" of the town - a hub for culture, arts and leisure, the Local Democracy Reporting Service says.

Coun Peter McBride, who is responsible for regeneration, called the move "a really significant step" towards the revitalising of the town.

Image copyright Kirklees Council
Image caption The blueprint focuses on six regeneration areas in the town centre including the "Cultural Heart"

Coun McBride added: "By making the blueprint a supplementary planning document we can use it as an official policy to work with developers and deliver a thriving, modern-day town centre."

Starting in early March comments will be invited on the scheme which now includes a focus on independent retailers within the town centre.

It envisages the creation of a vision for Huddersfield Market making it "a social space which offers unique, personal, ethical shopping experience alongside opportunities to test ideas, eat, learn and be entertained."

The document also looks at enhanced facilities around the town's bus and rail stations including the iconic George Hotel.

Image copyright Kirklees Council
Image caption The plans are part of the council's economic strategy to deliver growth

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