New images and more details have been revealed about the £210 million Cultural Heart for Huddersfield town centre as phase two of the public consultation gets underway.

A pre-application presentation took place at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee and this is some of the new information that came to light:

  • A full planning application is due to be submitted in late September or early October and the scheme will take two years to build. All parts of the scheme will be built at the same time and it could be completed by the end of 2025.
  • The multi-storey car park to be built underneath The Venue, a 2,200-capacity entertainments and conference centre, will have around 350 spaces. The former Market Hall Car Park had around 100 more spaces, even with the top two levels out of use, before its demolition. The council admits that for sell-out events The Venue won’t have enough on-site spaces and ‘event management’ will be needed to direct people to available parking elsewhere in the town centre.
  •  Most of the tunnels under the Piazza Centre will remain to service new buildings.
  • Trees that currently block the view of the ceramic sculptures on the side of the Queensgate Market will be removed. Trees will be replaced elsewhere in the scheme.
  • The Venue will have two inter-connecting halls which can be combined for larger events. It will also have an outside terrace overlooking Queensgate.
  • A new entrance/exit for The Venue multi-storey car park will be created out into Queensgate. This is still at the design stage.
  • The new Public Square next to the proposed food hall in the former Queensgate Market building will stage outdoor events. It will also have some kind of water features.

The second phase of public consultation into the Cultural Heart gets underway today (August 15).

Part of the 10-year Huddersfield Blueprint, the plan involves refurbishing the historic Queensgate Market and Huddersfield Library buildings to house a new food hall and a dedicated museum space respectively.

A new community-focused library will be developed within a modern extension to the market building, while a brand-new art gallery will be built on Queen Street.

Elsewhere, a new multi-purpose entertainment venue, which will have a capacity of up to 2,200 people, is being designed to host major concerts, live shows, business conferences, trade shows and more. Below the venue will be a multi-storey car park with around 350 spaces. 

Helping to connect all the new developments will be a series of highly accessible and attractive public spaces, including a public square that can host regular community and cultural events, and a new urban park, which features play space for families and various types of seating and relaxation spots for all generations.

Phase one of the Cultural Heart consultation took place throughout May and June this year. This first phase saw over 3,750 people engage online and over 200 people attend the dedicated in-person exhibition space.

Some 63% of respondents said that – based on what they had seen so far – they were supportive of the proposals for the Cultural Heart.

Respondents were particularly supportive of making the town centre a more welcoming, inclusive and accessible destination for people with different needs, as well as maintaining the heritage assets such as the market building and current library building.

The council says it has taken on board the official feedback from local businesses and residents and the latest versions of the plans – including a series of brand-new visuals – are now available to view and comment on.

This second phase of consultation runs until Wednesday September 14 2022, with the potential for a formal planning application to be submitted this autumn.

Council leader Clr Shabir Pandor said: “We were thrilled with the amount of engagement we received through the first phase of consultation because this is how local residents and businesses can really shape the future of Kirklees.

“Those who shared their views will hopefully see we’ve used the feedback to shape these new, more advanced designs.

“Our town centre, like many across the UK, needs to adapt to changing shopping habits and challenging market conditions.

“Retail still has a key role to play in our future but making our town centres more vibrant and varied will help encourage more people to not just visit the town centre but stay there for longer, which in turn supports new and existing shops, bars and restaurants.

“An investment like the Cultural Heart is an investment for all of Kirklees and we are excited to deliver an amazing new landmark that our people can be proud of.”

George Wilson, a partner at the scheme’s architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, said: “Our vision for Kirklees Cultural Heart is deeply rooted in Huddersfield and the wider borough.

“The design celebrates the architectural character of Kirklees and the sites surrounding civic buildings, whilst also introducing some complementary modern materials to create an exciting and contemporary destination for all.”

Kirklees residents and businesses are encouraged to view and comment on the plans here:

In addition to online channels, the council is facilitating a pop-up consultation exhibit in the Piazza, which will be open to the public for two hours every weekday throughout the consultation and on Saturday September 10. The public can also speak with the architects directly in extended sessions focusing on the proposed outdoor public spaces (August 25-27) and the building designs (September 6-7).

For more information, visit the website or get in touch with the consultation team at or phone 0808 175 4300.