An artist's impression of the entrance to the new bus stationAn artist's impression of the entrance to the new bus station
An artist's impression of the entrance to the new bus station

Heckmondwike Blueprint: Go-ahead for £1.5m masterplan to improve the town centre, including a new public square and better transport links

Kirklees Council is formally adopting the Heckmondwike Blueprint, a masterplan that lays out £1.5million of investment in the town centre over the next 10-15 years.

Heckmondwike is the latest town in the district where Kirklees Council is taking a “blueprint” approach to development, with plans for improvement spread across the town centre and changes to increase safety and footfall.

The Heckmondwike Blueprint is focused on creating “a healthy, vibrant town centre where people can live, work and relax, taking into account the town centre’s heritage whilst also making positive changes for the future”.

At the heart of Heckmondwike, the blueprint will create a new public square away from the “noise and irritation” of traffic.

New Square will be an "informal, intimate and versatile space for local people and visitors to enjoy, with attractive seating to encourage people to spend time and socialise”.

Market Square, with its iconic listed clock and former drinking fountain, will be rejuvenated, providing a new public green space with seating, footpaths and space for outdoor market stalls. Parking will be relocated to Oldfield Lane, with potential to retain some accessible parking bays on the square itself.

The council will prioritise connecting Green Park and Algernon Firth Park, both well-loved spaces in Heckmondwike, with the town centre and creating safer thoroughfares for pedestrians and cyclists.

Traffic will be rerouted off Northgate to allow Green Park to be extended, creating a "safe and inviting” space for walkers and shoppers, and new footpaths and cycleways will be installed.

Algernon Firth Park will be linked with new pedestrian crossings from Green Park, and well-lit walkways will connect the whole area, improving safety and encouraging more people to use these routes.

A key part of the blueprint will be improving the town centre’s connectivity to the Spen Valley Greenway – a well-used walking and cycling trail which connects Heckmondwike with Cleckheaton, Dewsbury Moor and beyond.

The investment will improve the link between Heckmondwike town centre and the Greenway, with better access and signage, plus new cycle paths.

The council will also be working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to upgrade the Bus Hub to a full bus station, building better, more accessible facilities and increasing capacity for bus use in the future.

All of the plans within the Heckmondwike Blueprint have been subject to public consultation with those who live in, work in or visit Heckmondwike, and this feedback has informed both the investment and the council’s priorities within the blueprint.

Now that the blueprint has been formally adopted, the highest priority areas for improvement going forward are New Square, Market Square and Green Park.

Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for finance and 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.

“Rather than focusing on one single development, what we’re doing across Kirklees is focusing on town centres like Heckmondwike as a whole, and approaching local issues from every angle.

"Kirklees is one of the most varied districts in the UK, so developing our towns has never been one-size-fits-all.

"It’s all about knowing a place, engaging with local people, looking at what that specific area needs, and creating a masterplan – a blueprint – that takes into account the whole picture.

“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.”