Government funds released to kick off town centre revitalisation project

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The first share of the £19.1m awarded to Brighouse through the Government’s Towns Fund is now being put to work to help revitalise the town centre.

In summer 2021, the Government announced the Brighouse Town Deal Board had been successful in its bid to the Towns Fund for projects over the next four years.

The first part of the grant is now being released, meaning Calderdale Council, working alongside the Town Deal Board, can appoint a professional team to take the project proposals to the next stage of development.

To move forward, full business cases are needed by June 2022 for each of the projects that are part of the Towns Fund package.

These are: transforming key public spaces including the canal side and Thornton Square; making it easier to get around the town centre and to local shops and businesses; creating spaces for events and for people to meet; boosting walking and cycling facilities; transforming the market and improving local training to build skills, particularly in manufacturing and green technology.

A team will be appointed to work on the business cases after a six-week tender process, which is expected to start before Christmas.

Brighouse Town Deal Board’s regeneration work is already having an impact, with the completion of new ‘parklets’ in Brighouse town centre in summer 2021.

These new pedestrian areas with benches, plants and trees have turned parts of the town into community spaces for people to stop, rest and enjoy whilst shopping.

They were funded by the £750,000 boost from the Government’s initial accelerated funding in 2020 for all areas working towards a Town Deal.

Councillor Sophie Whittaker, co-chair of the Brighouse Town Deal Board, said: “After the fantastic grant news this summer, we’re eager to get started on making a difference in Brighouse.

“This is already a town with a strong, distinctive identity and sense of community.

“We believe the proposed improvements will build on its vitality and help it to recover from the pandemic and thrive. It will be an even more special place to spend time, shop, enjoy heritage, socialise, walk and cycle.”

David Whitehead, co-chair of Brighouse Town Deal Board, added: “The funds that have been provided by the Government will be put to good use to revitalise the town centre, improving the shopping experience, and hopefully leading to increased visitor numbers to the area.

“This should impact and benefit the local economy, encouraging even more independent and quality retailers to invest in the town centre.”

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and strategy, said: “Building vibrant, sustainable towns is an important part of our work to support local places and businesses as we continue with our inclusive economic recovery.

“We also want people to have hope for the future and to enjoy their local area. The initial release of money from the Towns Fund is a key milestone for Brighouse and its people, marking the start of an exciting period of regeneration.”