Next phase of consultation starts on £210m regeneration scheme

The second phase of public consultation gets underway today on proposals for Kirklees Cultural Heart, the £210mdevelopment scheme that would transform Huddersfield town centre.

The ‘Cultural Heart’ forms part of the wider Huddersfield Blueprint – Kirklees Council’s ten-year vision to create a modern town centre.

The proposals for the Kirklees Cultural Heart aim to breathe new life and activity into the area between Queensgate, King Street and Victoria Lane – currently known as the Piazza – which has seen decreasing footfall in recent years.

The plan involves refurbishing the historic Queensgate Market and Huddersfield Library buildings to house a new food hall and a dedicated museum space respectively. A new library will be developed within a modern extension to the market building, while an art gallery will be built on Queen Street.

Elsewhere, a new multi-purpose entertainment venue, which will have a capacity of up to 2,200 people, is being designed to host major concerts, live shows, business conferences, trade shows and more. Below the venue will be a multi-storey car park with around 350 spaces.

A public square would host community and cultural events and an urban park would be created.

Phase one of the Cultural Heart consultation took place throughout May and June earlier this year.

The latest versions of the plans are now available to view and comment on. This second phase of consultation runs until Wednesday 14 September 2022, with the potential for a formal planning application to be submitted this autumn.

CllrShabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “We were thrilled with the amount of engagement we received through the first phase of consultation, because this is how local residents and businesses can really shape the future of Kirklees. Those who shared their views will hopefully see we’ve used the feedback to shape these new, more advanced designs.

“Our town centre, like many across the UK, needs to adapt to changing shopping habits and challenging market conditions. Retail still has a key role to play in our future, but making our town centres more vibrant and varied will help encourage more people to not just visit the town centre but stay there for longer, which in turn supports new and existing shops, bars and restaurants.

“An investment like the Cultural Heart is an investment for all of Kirklees and we are excited to deliver an amazing new landmark that our people can be proud of.”

George Wilson, partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios – the scheme’s lead architect, added: “Our vision for Kirklees Cultural Heart is deeply rooted in Huddersfield and the wider borough. The design celebrates the architectural character of Kirklees and the site’s surrounding civic buildings, whilst also introducing some complementary modern materials to create an exciting and contemporary destination for all.”