Millions to be invested in Batley, Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike town centres

Millions of pounds are to be injected into towns across Kirklees as part of ongoing regeneration plans.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 9:29 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 1:41 pm

Batley, Cleckheaton Heckmondwike and Holmfirth will each receive up to £1.5m.

The cash will go towards supporting retail, employment, community and “local centre activity” as well as sustainable travel and climate change measures, improved community safety, culture, art and leisure activities and landscaping, heritage, conservation, and better design – including shopfronts.

A specialist team will be hired to run the project at an annual cost of £143,000.

Batley town centre
Batley town centre

The three-year programme is expected to get underway this year and run until 2024.

The planned spending comes as Kirklees Council progresses its long-term visions for “principal” town centres in Huddersfield and Dewsbury. The so-called blueprints for each town will focus on massive regeneration.

In Huddersfield much of the town centre will be bulldozed as part of a £250m vision that has seen the council buy the Piazza and the George Hotel.

In Dewsbury £200m has been earmarked to aid the town’s revival. Some work has already been completed, such as Pioneer House, whilst Dewsbury Arcade is also earmarked for refurbishment.

There have been calls since the launch of the blueprints for other parts of the borough to receive investment.

That investment is now considered to be “paramount”.

A report to the council’s decision-making Cabinet (Mar 16) says: “Concern for the future of town centres remains a key theme.

“This combined, with the national decline in town centre activity and a shifting emphasis during lockdown to a more locally-based lifestyle means that widening out investment to centres other than Huddersfield and Dewsbury is now paramount.”

In addition to focusing on its two principal and four town centres the council is considering its district centres, which are listed as Almondbury, Birstall, Denby Dale, Honley, Kirkburton, Lindley, Marsden, Marsh, Meltham, Milnsbridge, Mirfield, Moldgreen, Ravensthorpe, Skelmanthorpe and Slaithwaite.

The council’s Local Plan – the document that allocates land for housing – also sets out 61 local centres across the borough.

Cabinet is expected to approve the spending next week.