Kirklees Council’s plans for a new Huddersfield Market have secured Government Levelling Up cash.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has announced almost £17 million for the Northumberland Street project that was thought to be scuppered when it was rejected by the Government in early 2023.
However, the scrapping of the Manchester leg of the HS2 high-speed rail link has freed up Government cash and £1 billion has been made available in a third round of spending from the Levelling Up Fund.
The council wants to turn the existing grade II* listed Huddersfield open market into a food hall seating 300 people and create a 60-stall open market on the nearby Tesco car park.
The Government says the open market site will consolidate the former Queensgate Market and the open market into a building “transformed to create a focal point for the town.”
Mr Gove had a further boost for Kirklees when he announced that the biggest investment – £48 million – would go to boost the rundown Penistone Line, improving rail services and stations on the route which links Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield.
The funding will also provide enhanced station facilities such as electric vehicle charging points, car clubs and cycle hire.
The Penistone Line, which runs through Lockwood, Berry Brow, Honley, Brockholes, Shepley, Stocksmoor and Denby Dale, has just one train an hour and the council believes the upgrade will provide a huge boost to regeneration.
Another previously rejected Levelling Up bid project – to restore New Mills in Marsden – secured surprise funding in the Budget announcement in March 2023. The Government is giving £5.6 million towards a private sector scheme to turn the derelict former Crowther’s Mill into a retail, office and apartments complex.
Another bid for £12 million for pedestrianisation in Batley town centre was approved in January 2023.
The latest announcement of funding for Huddersfield Market and the Penistone Line means that – despite initial disappointment – all four Kirklees Council Levelling Up bids have now won funding.
Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “This is a reward for all our hard work. We have a design for the market scheme and we can bring the design team back together very quickly. If we can get planning permission some time next year we can start work the following year.”