Town showcases £1bn investment opportunities

Leader of Kirklees Council Cllr Shabir Pandor at UKREIIF fringe event

Huddersfield’s potential for investment and business growth was showcased to a high-profile business audience at a sold-out event held in Leeds on Tuesday.

The Investing in the Future event held by Huddersfield Unlimited, the organisation representing business in the town, and Kirklees Council, brought together more than 100 public and private sector stakeholders, including investors, developers, housebuilders and more, to discuss opportunities and create connections. The event proved so popular a waiting list had to be created.

Speaking at the event, Sir John Harman, chairman of Huddersfield Unlimited, said: “Over the last few years Huddersfield Unlimited has been working to put Huddersfield on the national stage as a place for businesses to locate and to grow. At last, we are able to do this – with over £1bn of public investment due over the next five years, there has never been a better time to invest in Huddersfield.

“Huddersfield offers low costs and high value, a skilled and confident workforce, and a quality of life that includes active travel plans, town centre living projects, and cultural offerings. The region has a strong, united, and passionate team of stakeholders who support investment, business sustainability, and economic growth.”

Projects discussed at the event included:

  • The Transpennine Route Upgrade will make Huddersfield one of the best-connected places in the North of England, while the University of Huddersfield’s Health Innovation Campus at Southgate will put the town on the global map for transformational health and wellbeing research.
  • Development builds on the Transpennine Route Upgrade and the National Health Innovation Campus, unlocking significant opportunities for investment. The Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor offers further potential for investors, creating the opportunity for a thriving hub of high-quality businesses and well-paid jobs between Huddersfield Station and the John Smith’s Stadium.
  • Other ongoing development initiatives in Huddersfield include the Kingsgate development, and the Cultural Heart development, which is set to transform the heart of Huddersfield town centre with a vibrant food hall, music and events venue, museum, library, art gallery, and outdoor public square. The George Hotel is also being redeveloped to become a Radisson Red.

Before the event David Shepherd, strategic director for growth and regeneration, Kirklees Council said, “Our strong vision for the future, our partnership collaboration, and our forward-thinking approach to development and sustainable growth has helped realise over £1bn of planned investment in private and public infrastructure over the next five years.

“Kirklees is already home to thriving precision engineering, advanced manufacturing and textiles industries.  We’ll draw on these industry strengths, as well as local talent and the district’s fantastic heritage and culture, its innovation and entrepreneurship, to showcase Kirklees’ strengths as a place to do business.

“We believe that Kirklees is an ideal destination for businesses looking to invest and expand, and we’re eager to share that message with investors from around the world.”

Sue Cooke, chief executive of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and deputy director for regional enterprise at the University of Huddersfield, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Huddersfield to attract innovative health companies to the region as we embark on the development of the National Health Innovation Campus, with its first phase due to complete in 2024. Supporting the NHS, the community and the health economy are key aims, as well as putting Huddersfield on the global map for innovation in health, wellbeing and productivity. The creation of the new health innovation campus is a flagship investment that will benefit all of West Yorkshire.”

Liz Towns-Andrews, Huddersfield Unlimited director and key University of Huddersfield liaison said: “The portfolio of planned investment and development projects in the town will be transformational. I am particularly impressed by the “Station to Stadium” development zone including the University’s National Health Innovation Campus. This area is set to become an exciting innovation district which will drive much needed business growth and inward investment for Huddersfield.”

Chair of Huddersfield Unlimited’s Transport and Connectivity Group, Leah Stuart, commenting on the evening said: “It’s so exciting to see the £millions being invested in Huddersfield town centre and to have been able to share this with people from across the UK and beyond. This evening’s event has clearly demonstrated the growing interest in Huddersfield, recognising its fantastic location and excellent potential to be the fulcrum of the North.”