A giant umbrella could form part of the street scene as “café culture” comes to New Street and Cloth Hall Street in Huddersfield town centre.

Kirklees Council is this week consulting shops and businesses on changes to New Street proposed as part of the Huddersfield Blueprint.

Back in October 2019, the council’s Cabinet approved spending of £5.25 million on revamping the two main shopping thoroughfares.

The council plans to make them open spaces where families and friends can gather and spend time in the town centre.

A giant ‘umbrella’ is under consideration as a weatherproof space particularly for families. There will also be a ‘café space’ designated for outside eating and drinking and new benches and seating will be installed. Bespoke seating will be created.

This week council staff will be in New Street to talk to shoppers and traders about what they want to see.

The consultations will take place as follows:
Tuesday September 21: 10am-2pm
Wednesday September 22: 10am-2pm
Thursday September 23: 10am-2pm
Friday September 24: 10am-2pm
Saturday September 25: 2pm-5pm
Monday September 27: 2pm-5pm 

The council says the new-look design will transform New Street, between Ramsden Street and the junction with Market Place, into a ‘garden street’ with social green areas and planted areas, complete with integrated seating and artwork.

The aim is to “encourage a café-street culture, offering more options for people to eat and socialise outdoors.”

READ MORE: The Clock House cafe is to re-open in Huddersfield town centre – and there’s a great opportunity for someone

Wider footpaths will be created by removing posts and bollards and larger spaces will be created to allow for pop-up markets or other outdoor events. All road and pavement surfaces will also be replaced with “quality materials.”

Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The introduction of an outdoor café-culture, pop-up markets and space for events will bring an energy to the town centre with vibrant colour and aromatic smells to entice people to shop, stop, stay and play.

“This increased footfall will boost both the daytime and evening economies on offer and will, in turn, generate local business growth and investment in the town.”

A ‘garden street’ will be created

Council architects will work with police architectural crime officers and CCTV experts to ensure the design is safe and that the opportunity for anti-social behaviour is minimised as much as possible.

The council says the project is due to start in May 2022 and could take 12 months to complete. The council has pledged to keep disruption to a minimum and ensure access for deliveries is maintained throughout.

READ MORE: All the latest on what’s happening in Huddersfield town centre is right here