Kirklees Council still has ambitious plans for a new Huddersfield Market – but needs to find a new source of finance.

The £18 million plans for Northumberland Street were thrown into doubt when a bid for cash was rejected by the Government’s 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 new 60-stall open market on the nearby Tesco car park.

That bid and two others – for the £48 million restoration of the Penistone Rail Line and £5.6 million for the redevelopment of Marsden Mills in Marsden – were rejected. One Kirklees bid – for pedestrianisation of Batley town centre – was approved.

At a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat leader Clr John Lawson (Cleckheaton) asked if the council had a Plan B for Huddersfield Market and if it would be a scaled back version.

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are looking at all options. We are looking at possible external funding elsewhere. I am disappointed we didn’t get it.

“If there is alternative funding out there or partners we can work with then we would like to push ahead with the plans as they stand. Until we have looked around it’s difficult to predict what we will do.

“Our ambition, as the ambition has been of this Cabinet for the last few years, is to invest in Kirklees and drive the local economy forward and that remains the plan.”

Council leader Clr Shabir Pandor said he was disappointed only one of the four Levelling Up bids was approved and he knew other local authorities had spent millions of pounds on bids that were unsuccessful.

Local authorities were effectively bidding against eachother and Clr Pandor said: “It should not be a beauty contest.

“It should not be a competition where local authorities compete against eachother. It should be based on need and robust evidence and facts.”

On Huddersfield Market, he added: “We still have ambitions and will continue to look at alternative funding and how we can present something that actually means something. We don’t want to reduce it so much that it does not have an impact.”