Huddersfield town centre is about to become a hive of history-inspired activity for the annual Heritage Open Days festival.
The festival, running between September 10 and 19, is a national event aimed at celebrating our fantastic history and culture, and every single activity is free to attend or take part in.
This year many local activities are being put on as part of the Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Cultural Programme – run by the Huddersfield HSHAZ Consortium in partnership with Kirklees Council and Historic England.
The HSHAZ-led Heritage Open Days’ activities will kick off on Saturday with an introduction to the HSHAZ’s history, and a family signwriting event in Byram Arcade.
There will also be an opportunity to enjoy Huddersfield Carnival performances and to visit Chol Theatre’s Cholavan, which will be in St George’s Square providing information on events and hosting activities for children.
Across the 10-day festival, other activities include a number of ‘Huddersfield Heritage Mile’ walks, a ‘Run For The Mills’ talk by Historic England, the Townsounds Street Party run by community organisation Let’s Go Yorkshire, and Proper Job Theatre Company’s The Town That Bought Itself – an animated walk through the history of Huddersfield with the people who made the town.
Discover Huddersfield is offering guided walks, and there will be a talk on W. H. Crosland – architect to many of Huddersfield town centre’s key buildings.
The Huddersfield Local History Society is holding a ‘Memories of our Square’ exhibition, and there will be an open invitation for people to share their stories of the Square at the Huddersfield Heritage Hub, which is located in the piazza opposite the library.
In total, there will be around 30 activities delivered by the HSHAZ Consortium for the festival, all of which are centred around St George’s Square – as this area is the focus of the HSHAZ funded by Kirklees Council and Heritage England.
Alongside this busy programme of events, the four-year project is focusing on the renovation of two key sites – the George Hotel and Estate Buildings – both of which are beautiful listed structures bordering St George’s Square and located at the heart of these events.
You can find details of all these activities and many more across Kirklees on the Heritage Open Days website.
Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The work of the HSHAZ is to breathe new life into St George’s Square and the surrounding area – which is already one of the most important and iconic parts of Huddersfield.
“Through this programme of events, we’re fuelling the local economy and culture, bringing together the local community within Huddersfield, and attracting more footfall from visitors as local tourism booms across the UK.
“Huddersfield has so much to offer, and the Heritage Open Days festival is a fantastic way to showcase this whilst giving our high streets a boost.
“The amount there is to get involved with over the course of the festival is a testament to Huddersfield’s beautiful and varied heritage.
“Celebrating and sharing our cultural offer – which is at the heart and soul of our communities and local economy alike – is just as important as the many exciting physical improvements we’re currently making to our town centre.
“I encourage residents and visitors alike to get involved and learn more about Huddersfield, past and present.”
Dr Tosh Warwick, Huddersfield HSHAZ cultural programme co-ordinator, said: “Heritage Open Days is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Huddersfield’s history and through the HSHAZ Cultural Programme we are re-engaging communities with the historical heart of Huddersfield in exciting and imaginative ways through a range of collaborations with artists, creatives, historians, societies and local venues.”
Every single Heritage Open Days event is free. For details and opening times, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk, download the Huddersfield Heritage Open Days 2021 Brochure or pick up a copy from local venues including the Huddersfield Heritage Hub.