Welcome to our first Huddersfield BID town centre blog where every month BID manager SAM SHARP highlights a town centre business with a story to share, and then gives a round-up of some of the exciting things going on in the town.

Green Island is named after the famous Mauritian rum – and soon the Huddersfield town centre café will open on an evening too as a licensed restaurant.

Green Island moved from the Packhorse Centre to a derelict former shop unit in New Street six months ago.

The café currently serves breakfasts and lunches – with a British menu alongside some Mauritian dishes.

But in the next month or so Green Island hope to have an alcohol licence and plan to open until around 10pm, serving authentic food from the tropical Indian Ocean island.

Green Island is run by Ramesh and Savina Ghoorbin and their daughter Jennifer Wolstenholme. The family are originally from Mauritius.

When they first moved to the UK they lived in London before moving to Huddersfield in the early 2000s.

Both Ramesh and Savina cook themselves but, says Jennifer, spicy and exotic Mauritian food doesn’t readily lend itself to breakfast and lunch menus, though there is a special Mauritian breakfast consisting of crispy chilli cakes served on a baguette.

So becoming an evening restaurant with a licence to serve alcohol will give Ramesh and Savina the chance to show diners from Huddersfield and beyond what Mauritian food is all about.

Ramesh and Savina Ghoorbin with son Shane.

“There is nowhere serving Mauritian food in Huddersfield town centre or even in the surrounding cities as far as we know,” said Jennifer.

“A lot of the food is what we would have at home – it’s like street food. We will bring in more exotic fish such as octopus or parrot fish and we will have an a la carte menu.

“We’ll also have Green Island Rum and cocktails and we’ll import tequila and two types of beer. We don’t want to serve anything you can buy elsewhere.”

Green Island offer 10% discounts to students and 15% for NHS, emergency service workers, armed forces personnel and Kirklees Council employees. ID must be shown. The family also wants to work with other town centre businesses.

Here at Huddersfield BID we are really excited about the opening of the evening restaurant service. Green Island has now added another fabulous place to eat in the Huddersfield BID zone and we can’t wait to try more of their new menu.

So what else has been happening in the town centre over the last month?

Huddersfield BID manager Sam Sharp (right) and business liaison officer Sherree Atkinson meet Sam Hayford of Pam’s Cafe in the Packhorse Centre

Considering January is traditionally a slow month of the year and people were just returning to work after the Christmas break, committing to Dry January or Veganuary, the BID team had been hard at work with their plans for 2022.

If you are continuing with eating a more vegan-friendly diet we have highlighted just some of the restaurants and food businesses in Huddersfield who offer an excellent choice of vegan and vegetarian food, of which Huddersfield has more than most towns have to offer.

Go to our Hello Huddersfield website for further details or pick up a food and drink guide from our new Hello Huddersfield space at Market Avenue.

We welcomed the new bar Carousel into the BID zone, which we think is a positive addition to the town and promises to be a popular spot for all ages and we wish Michael and the team lots of luck and support.

Our new favourite coffee shop and place to catch lunch with visitors is Green Island. They hosted our Treasure Hunt this month which was a great success, despite getting off to a rainy start.

Participants got to follow a set of clues and directions around the town centre and they had to answer 40 questions. They were rewarded with a breakfast butty and hot drink at the end and there was a cash prize for the winning team.

We are planning more events on Sundays through the year to drive footfall into the town and encourage all visitors to love Huddersfield as much as we do.

Our TCSO team, who are funded by BID and Kirklees Council, have also had a busy month helping out at St Peter’s Parish Church with West Yorkshire Police and their volunteer cadets. They cleared stones and debris which were causing issues for the church.

The team has also begun graffiti removal jobs along New Street as part of their role with Kirklees Council and will continue around town each morning fighting one piece of graffiti at a time, to make the town more attractive.

These new duties will not detract from their normal responsibilities as they will spend the rest of the day patrolling, logging incidents, assisting businesses in the town centre and offering advice to visitors who they meet around town.

Huddersfield BID aims to promote the town centre as an accessible, safe, vibrant and attractive destination – and a great place to be!