Huddersfield Town want to be a driving force behind regeneration and are exploring the possibilities of creating a ‘business hub’ in the town centre.

The football club, under new owner Kevin Nagle and chief executive Jake Edwards, want to work with local businesses, Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield to power up the Huddersfield economy.

Kirklees Council has a 20-year plan to create a Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor and Huddersfield Town want a presence at both ends.

Mr Edwards said: “There’s impressive regeneration plans afoot such as the Station to Stadium project and we have a new train line that can really stimulate some growth and attract people into Huddersfield.

“We want to plant a flag. Kevin and the football team would like to see how we can be part of what’s going on in the town centre and not just be down here at the stadium. What we have is a gateway to a sporting entertainment hub.

“We will be at the end of the Station to Stadium corridor. We want this to be an amazing end but we also want to be in the town centre.

“How can we help get the football club brand in town and be part of more business coming back, more people living there and more young people starting businesses?

“We will explore over the next few months what potentially that could look like, along with the university and the council on how we can make that happen.

“I like the sound of a business hub, an incubator for small businesses. Retail space, food and beverage, an entrepreneurial think-tank, a business hub with established companies, start-ups, a place to meet and work. It could mean regenerating one of those beautiful old buildings. We want to explore what that could look like.”

Mr Edwards said new owner Kevin Nagle was keen to bring his entrepreneurial energy to Huddersfield, encouraging innovation and growth.

“We are fortunate to have a new owner from Northern California, a very progressive environment. Kevin Nagle, our chairman, has a background in healthcare and health tech innovation.

“He’s a disruptor and an innovator who wants to do things differently. Northern California, Silicone Valley, there are incubators and support networks where people can come together and have a base of operations.

“Some Huddersfield companies have real history and some are global. We need to embrace the history but we also have the opportunity to innovate and lead. Kirklees could be a leader in health tech innovation.

“We as a football club have a unique platform and we want to play our part. If we get the marketing folks together and augment some of the think-tanks we could do more, harness the power of all the businesses. We are excited to be part of that.”

Mr Edwards was one of the panel speakers at the launch of the Kirklees Top 100 Companies, organised by the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, the University of Huddersfield and Kirklees Council at the John Smith’s Stadium.

He told an audience of business leaders from the biggest companies in the district that the football club was building for another push for a return to the Premier League.

He said: “We have been here since June and we have the chance to rethink the way the football club is run.

“We want to make sure this club is sustainable. We want to take this club back to the Premier League. We have been there before and so it’s possible.

“We want to invest in facilities and staff and make sure when we get there all the pieces are in place.”

The club has recently recruited a director of global brand, Domenic Notarfrancesco, who will help raise the club’s national and international profile and expand its merchandise operations.

Mr Edwards said the club may take the team to the United States and link the visit to trade opportunities.

Main image: Heather Magner, Northern Exposure