Public consultation gets underway today on Huddersfield, Cultural Heart, the centrepiece of Kirklees Council’s £250m blueprint to transform the town centre.
The ambitious plan seeks to breathe new life into an eight-acre area around Queensgate and the Piazza Shopping Centre by giving it a new focus based on new cultural buildings and an events arena.
The Cultural Heart forms part of the Huddersfield Blueprint: a 10-year vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre. It’s also part of a wider Kirklees ambition to invest in town centres across the borough including Dewsbury, Batley, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Holmfirth.
The vison is to create an inclusive space where families, residents and visitors can enjoy a vibrant mix of music, arts and food in one central area, overlooking a stunning new urban park.
Major changes will see:
The Queensgate market building refurbished to house a vibrant new food hall that will celebrate local and independent traders and provide a new hub for social dining.
A modern and welcoming library featuring bright, flexible and collaborative community spaces.
The existing Huddersfield Library building will be refurbished, with a contemporary extension added to transform it into a dedicated new museum space.
A brand-new multi-purpose entertainment venue with a capacity of up to 2,200 will be created for major concerts, live shows, conferences and exhibitions.
A new art gallery space on Queen Street to be home to iconic works by Francis Bacon, L.S. Lowry, Henry Moore and Harold Gilman.
The new public square will become an active centrepiece that hosts regular community and cultural events.
The museum garden will become a place to rest within the busy town centre environment and can showcase art installations and sculptures.
A new landmark urban park will make the Cultural Heart a unique place and will act as a key link between the Cultural Heart and wider town centre.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to redefine one of the great Northern towns. An investment like the Cultural Heart is an investment for Kirklees. It will be a major catalyst to stimulate further investment and economic growth, including jobs. We are very fortunate to have incredible heritage buildings in the centre of Huddersfield and these plans will not only revitalise some of Huddersfield town centre’s most-loved buildings, but they will also have the opportunity to shine among new contemporary buildings and a range of high-quality outdoor spaces.”