Heritage Strategy: Council aims “to raise the profile of the unique, rich and diverse heritage of Kirklees”

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Kirklees Council is developing a new heritage strategy that aims to make the borough ‘an attractive place to visit, live, invest, study and work.’

The Heritage Strategy, which is currently at the draft stage, has been created with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund through their Resilient Heritage funding programme.

It will sit alongside new Tourism and Cultural Strategies currently being developed by the council and will tell the stories of Kirklees in new and exciting ways, encouraging collaboration, promotion, and participation in heritage and culture, whilst attracting interest and visitors to the district.

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Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “The strategy recognises that heritage is not only about physical assets such as buildings but also the history of Kirklees, in particular its people, identity and stories and how we tell these.

Councillor Will SimpsonCouncillor Will Simpson
Councillor Will Simpson

“It will raise the profile of the unique, rich and diverse heritage of Kirklees, recognising its huge importance to the district. We want to be innovative in the way our heritage is cared for and sustained, finding creative ways we can enjoy and learn from it, developing it in a way we can ensure it thrives for future generations.

“With the strategy, we plan to celebrate Kirklees’ rich heritage by creating the conditions for heritage in all its forms to prosper, making Kirklees an attractive place to visit, live, invest, study and work, and be a catalyst for regenerative change.”

The Heritage Strategy also aims to shape an aspirational future for Kirklees, built on strong foundations of local identity and to find new ways to invest in, enhance, and sustain our heritage.

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The Heritage Strategy, ‘We are Making History’, reflects Kirklees' rich legacy, which has had both a national and global impact. The textile industry, Industrial Revolution, protest reforms such as the Suffragette movement, and the formation of the Rugby League are all major parts of the district’s history.

Oakwell Hall, Birstall.Oakwell Hall, Birstall.
Oakwell Hall, Birstall.

Engaging with Kirklees residents is a key part of developing the strategy and feedback will be used to shape the approach the council takes before the final version goes to Cabinet for approval in early 2023.

There will be pop-up events, along with an online survey to allow as many people as possible a chance to comment on the strategy.

Coun Pandor added: “By filling in the survey on the draft strategy your opinions will allow us to build on previous feedback from community groups and inform the final Heritage Strategy.

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“I want to encourage all residents to feed back on the Heritage Strategy and to have their voices heard as part of Kirklees’ shared heritage."

Leader of Kirklees Council Shabir PandorLeader of Kirklees Council Shabir Pandor
Leader of Kirklees Council Shabir Pandor

The draft Heritage Strategy can be found by visiting https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/culture-strategy/pdf/heritage-strategy.pdf

Anyone wishing to have their say on the Heritage Strategy is encouraged to fill in the survey before January 8, 2023.

There will also be a pop-up stand at Oakwell Hall Visitor Centre, Birstall, on Sunday, December 4, 12pm-3pm, where people can find out more about the strategy.