Kirklees Council has made a bid for Levelling Up cash to create a new market and help restore Huddersfield’s historic identity as a market town.
With Queensgate Market set to close in October, the council wants to create a new combined market on the site of the existing open market in Northumberland Street.
The scheme is set to cost around £18 million and the project is one of four bids submitted by the council to the Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund (LUF).
The other bids are for the re-development of New Mills in Marsden – known locally as Crowther’s Mill; an upgrade of the Penistone Rail Line between Huddersfield and Sheffield; and major town centre improvements in Batley.
The council says the Northumberland Street Regeneration Project would see the historic grade II*-listed market building restored with a new open market created.
The new market would be “vibrant and sustainable” and focus on “high quality independent traders” with a strong emphasis on food and drink. It would also be available in the evening to help drive the night-time economy.
The market hall would be restored and refurbished to become a new indoor market consisting of nine food and drink outlets with stalls for fresh food and dry goods, and a large shared seating area for more than 300 people.
A new outdoor structure would be created between the listed building and the Tesco car park, which would provide more than 60 market stalls under a new open market structure.
If the bid is successful, the council would be looking to complete the work in 2025.
The Marsden scheme would bring a derelict mill in the centre of the village back into use. The mill façade would be retained as a feature with some demolition behind and construction of a new building.
The new building would have commercial use and office space with potential for residential on the top floors.
The private sector will lead the re-development and invest £11.7 million with the council submitting a Levelling Up Fund bid for £5.6 million.
The council’s bid to improve the Penistone rail line – worth £48 million – would support significant improvements to its infrastructure, enabling trains to run more frequently.
The funding would allow for an extra rail line to be added to sections of track between Huddersfield and Barnsley. If approved the council will work with the rail companies to look at improvements to stations and waiting facilities.
The Batley bid – worth £12 million – would see pedestrianisation and the creation of an events space outside the Town Hall along with the restoration of a disused building.
The combined bids total £83 million and council leader Clr Shabir Pandor said: “These bids show the scale of our ambitions across Kirklees. Each of them is transformative for our economy and they can provide jobs and opportunities for decades to come. It’s investment like this that offer the best protection against future cost-of-living crises.
“Our proposals for Batley, Marsden and Northumberland Street in Huddersfield would breathe new life into some of Kirklees’ beautiful historic buildings, while creating exciting new developments to boost our local economy and bring communities together.
“Meanwhile, our bid for the Penistone railway line would further strengthen our connections with the North and beyond.
“These plans will modernise our economy but they are also in tune with our local heritage. We are making sure what we love about our district, old and new, can survive the test of time and thrive in the 21st century.
“Kirklees has a bright economic future. We already have a major investment programme for our economy and infrastructure and these projects would help us deliver even more of our incredible potential.”