Investment masterplan launched for town

Kirklees Council has launched the Heckmondwike Blueprint, a masterplan which lays out how £1.5m can be invested in the town centre.

Over the next decade and beyond, the masterplan – which has been drawn up using feedback from the public – aims to create a healthy, vibrant town centre where more people want to live, work and relax.

The council will be working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority to upgrade the Bus Hub to a full bus station, building accessible indoor facilities, improving the outdoor spaces and adding more bus stops.

By making public transport a more viable option, the council says this should help cut traffic congestion, improving air quality and journey times.

Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for finance & regeneration, said: “Heckmondwike is a beautiful town with so much potential, and we want to celebrate what local people most love about the town centre whilst also looking to the future.

“It will be wonderful to see all the most beloved elements of Heckmondwike connect through this work, and to see more people able to enjoy them.

“We hope this will bring more people into the town, naturally improving safety and also driving more footfall for local businesses.

“I’m thrilled with all the work that’s gone into this project, and excited to start delivering later this year. Over the next decade and beyond, these developments will create a greener, safer and better connected town centre for future generations.”

Included in the blueprint are plans to create a new public square with attractive seating to encourage people to socialise.

The existing Market Square will be rejuvenated – providing a public space with greenery, seating, footpaths, and space for outdoor market stalls. Most parking will be moved to Oldfield Lane.

Heckmondwike’s parks will be better connected with the town centre via safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

Traffic will be rerouted off Northgate to allow Green Park to be extended. Algernon Firth Park will be linked by new pedestrian crossings from Green Park, and well-lit walkways will connect the whole area.

Another key part of the blueprint is about improving the town centre’s connectedness to Spen Valley Greenway – a walking and cycling trail, which connects Heckmondwike with Cleckheaton, Dewsbury Moor and beyond.

A council spokesman explained: “The link between Heckmondwike town centre and the Greenway could be made a lot better, and we’ll be investing in creating better access and signage plus new cycle paths.”