Two major retailers are preparing to leave the Piazza Shopping Centre in Huddersfield, ahead of its planned demolition.

WH Smith is having a closing down sale and has confirmed the store will close on May 11. Boots, meanwhile, will also shut when its lease expires.

While WH Smith will not relocate within Huddersfield town centre, Boots says it is talking to other landlords and may yet remain in town.

A spokesperson for WH Smith said: “We can confirm that the WH Smith store in Huddersfield will be closing on Saturday May 11.

“It is no longer sustainable to continue to trade from this location and the decision has been taken to close the store as a result of the forthcoming lease expiry.

“We are disappointed to be losing our presence in this location and we would like to thank all our customers for their support and for shopping with us.

“We are also extremely grateful for the commitment of our in store colleagues who we will support with this transition and redeploy to nearby stores, where possible.”

Meanwhile, it is not clear when Boots will close but a Boots spokesperson said: “The Boots store on King Street is due to close following the closure of the Piazza Shopping Centre.

“We are working closely with local landlords to investigate alternative store locations.”

The deserted Piazza Centre

The Piazza Shopping Centre was once home to many big-name retailers including BHS, Dorothy Perkins, USC, Superdrug and Toyland.

Built over 50 years ago on the site of the Huddersfield Market Hall, the Piazza Centre was bought by Kirklees Council for £3.5 million, pending demolition as part of the Our Cultural Heart regeneration scheme.

The council has also bought surrounding properties including shop units in Victoria Lane which include Peacocks, Savers and the former Argos store, now the council’s Local Studies Library.

The Our Cultural Heart scheme is now being carried out in phases and work is due to start on Phase 1 this summer.

Phase 1 will see the former Queensgate Market building transformed into a food hall with a glass-fronted extension to create a modern new library. The new-look building will open out into a public square for events and gatherings.

Site preparation works are underway and the council promised “spades in the ground” in June or July 2024 with Phase 1 due for completion by the end of 2025.

Phase 2 would see a new art gallery and museum combined in the former Huddersfield Library building.

Kirklees Council set to release £51 million for Phase 1 of Our Cultural Heart with ‘spades in the ground’ by mid-2024