Kirklees Council is set to spend millions of pounds on outside consultants to help deliver regeneration projects worth £100 million.

The council has secured Government funding for four major schemes but says it will need to draft in consultants to ensure maximum benefit.

The council has secured Levelling Up Fund cash for the £17 million regeneration of Huddersfield Open Market and the £48 million Penistone Line rail upgrade which will improve journeys on a rural line which serves Honley, Brockholes, Shepley and Denby Dale.

Then there’s also a further £20 million towards the Dewsbury Blueprint town centre regeneration scheme and an initial £17 million towards development of the West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone which will focus on Huddersfield’s Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor.

The council says this £100 million boost is only the start with a £500 million investment in regeneration projects planned for the next 10 years.

A report to the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday March 12 outlines the £100 million investment, which needs formal acceptance.

While the council will accept the funding, the report warns that the sheer scale and short timescales of the planned developments mean they will need outside help.

The report says the council doesn’t have sufficient staff or in-house expertise due to “current capacity constraints” and that “complex professional services” will have to be bought in from the private sector.

Rather than hiring consultants on a project-by-project basis, the report recommends hiring a single Strategic Development Partner on a four-year contract to work across all the different projects.

The council will remain in overall control as the ‘client’ but a Strategic Development Partner would “help to realise the full benefit of investment and create a lasting legacy across the district.”

The report also makes reference to the likely costs which could run into millions of pounds.

The report says: “The length of contract is expected to be at least four years to ensure consistency of delivery and the value of professional fees (including those of any Strategic Development Partner) could be expected to range between 10% and 20% of the total project costs.

“All professional fees would be funded from within the overall capital/external funding secured.”

The four projects total £100 million meaning that between £10 million and £20 million could go to outside consultants.

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: “I’m overjoyed to be bringing these funding proposals forward to Cabinet, because combined they’ll mean more than £100 million of Government investment in the future of Kirklees.

“We’re talking about a huge range of projects here – large-scale building redevelopments, improvements to public transport infrastructure, investment in local industries… and areas benefitting from this investment stretch right across Kirklees, from north to south and east to west.

“With all the issues faced by local authorities in today’s economic climate, funding injections like this are crucial to keep us moving forward.

“I see this investment as a massive vote of confidence from the Government in Kirklees’ potential for the future.”