A £40 million landmark building for the University of Huddersfield has been given the go-ahead.
The new Health & Wellbeing Academy is the first building on the university’s proposed National Health Innovation Campus on the site of the former Huddersfield Sports Centre.
The new building, on the corner of Southgate and Leeds Road, has been described by Kirklees Council planners as “attractive” and “innovative” and of the “highest architectural quality.” They say it is “glamorous without being ostentatious.”
The building, designed by Huddersfield-based architects AHR, will become the new home of the university’s Health & Wellbeing Academy, which was officially launched in June.
The split-level four and seven-storey building will have specialist learning, training and research facilities as well as clinics for such as podiatry, physiotherapy and general health and wellbeing. Clinics are open to the public.
It will become a national centre for training NHS staff and further enhance the university’s reputation nationally.
The new building could open in 2024 and the council says it will boost the local economy through investment in Huddersfield town centre and directly through the purchase of locally-sourced materials.
Part of the site includes a temporary council car park, known as Pine Street Car Park, which has 159 spaces.
The car park was given temporary permission until September 2023 to provide extra spaces following the demolition of the Market Hall Multi-Storey.
The council report says the land has now been bought by the university and while the Pine Street Car Park will remain the main car park for the Health & Wellbeing Academy, it will close to the public.
Later phases of the scheme will see a ‘sustainable transport hub’ created. A multi-storey car park may be built later but that is not yet decided.
Councillors were concerned about the safety of students and staff walking or cycling along the Ring Road to get between the main university campus in Queensgate and the new building.
The university wants to encourage people to use Queen Street, Lord Street and Northumberland Street instead or follow Huddersfield Broad Canal.
It is hoped improvements currently underway in Leeds Road will also improve road safety at the busy junction.
Councillors on the Strategic Planning Committee unanimously approved the academy building and an overall masterplan to develop the campus.