The planning team behind Huddersfield’s Our Cultural Heart regeneration scheme picked up a prestigious award at the 2024 Planning Awards.

Led by development specialists Pegasus Group, the Our Cultural Heart planning team won the award for ‘Fostering a Healthy Town Centre.’

The accolade recognises Kirklees Council’s strategy to unlock economic growth in the borough and was recognised by the judging panel for clearly demonstrating how the planning team and strategy will improve the town centre.

The Our Cultural Heart project was described as a “masterclass in thoughtful, inclusive design, genuine and thorough stakeholder consultation and how to generate substantial benefits across the spectrum.”

Construction of the first phase of Our Cultural Heart begins this summer. Phase One concentrates on the major refurbishment of the historic former Queensgate Market building, which will be transformed into a vibrant new food hall. A brand-new community library will also be incorporated within the existing east wing of the same building.

Both the food hall and library will open out onto a new public square for outdoor events and gatherings.


Director of regeneration David Shepherd (right) with former Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor


David Shepherd, strategic director for growth and regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “I am delighted that the Our Cultural Heart development scheme, and the council’s planning team, have received the recognition they deserve and won this highly-competitive award.

“It demonstrates all the hard work undertaken, alongside the team at Pegasus, to make Our Cultural Heart what it is today.

“Our Cultural Heart is going to deliver fantastic long-term benefits for Huddersfield and the wider borough of Kirklees and transform the heart of the town centre.

“Bringing vibrancy into the area between Queensgate, Queen Street, King Street and Victoria Lane, this new hive of culture will deliver a surprising, inclusive and social destination for all, encouraging visitors to stay in our town centre for longer and boost our economy further.

“We hope that this award is the start of many more to come and sets the tone for future developments within our town centres across Kirklees.”



Chris Calvert, executive director at Pegasus Group, said: “The Our Cultural Heart development proposal represents two years of hard work, involving substantial and proactive public consultation and with key stakeholders.

“The cross-sector team saw the opportunity for transformative change and worked hard to devise a proposal that would genuinely be accessible for all people.

“Considerable iterative and detailed design work was carried out by the design team, alongside consultation with Kirklees Council and other relevant stakeholders, to produce a truly inclusive and vibrant development.

“The final approved scheme takes a significant step forward in diversifying the offer in the town and district, drawing people and businesses in.

“It is a one-of-a-kind transformation which will bring substantial benefits to Huddersfield and beyond and we’re thrilled that the project has been recognised with a planning award.”

In addition to Pegasus Group, the council’s project team during the planning process included Arup, Counter Context, FCB Studios, Queensberry, re-form and Turner & Townsend.


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