Plans for Huddersfield’s Cultural Heart officially submitted

The Piazza Shopping Centre will be no more under the Cultural Heart plans

More details of Kirklees Council’s exciting £210million Cultural Heart project have been revealed with the process to gain planning permission for the scheme now underway.

A letter detailing the current plans has been submitted to the Planning Authority as the first step in the planning process.

The proposed site for the Cultural Heart is 7.87 acres of the town centre that currently consists of the Queensgate Market, library and art gallery, the Piazza shopping centre and the site of the now-demolished multi-storey car park.

This flagship project will see the total transformation of the area to include a central events venue and food court, museum and art gallery, new library, an urban park and new multi-storey car park alongside new retail, bars and restaurants.

The new, Cultural Heart of Huddersfield will complement the modern-day town centre being created through the Blueprint. A town centre that will be thriving, welcoming and family-friendly with a real sense of community.

The design process is now well underway and core elements of the scheme have been established.

A new event space, accommodating between 2,500-3,000 people will sit alongside a food court that could potentially be located within the existing market hall. A new museum and art gallery could be located within the existing library building with an extension providing additional gallery space.

A new urban park and outdoor events space for around 3,000 people will link all of the elements together providing a green, welcoming and safe space for residents and visitors alike.

The new 500-space multi-storey car park will include electric vehicle charging points and provide convenient access to all the Cultural Heart and wider town centre has to offer.

The library will remain, with a new purpose

Retention and re-use of the Listed Buildings on the site, the market hall and the library, is key to keeping Huddersfield’s cultural heritage at the centre of the project.

Demolition of some buildings will be required to bring the Cultural Heart to life, they include the parade of shops within the Piazza, elements of the market hall and retail units on Princess Alexandra Walk.

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “This is an exciting step towards the transformation of Huddersfield town centre under the Blueprint vision. The Cultural Heart will create a vibrant and dynamic space for visitors of all ages to gather and enjoy all of the art, culture and music that will be found here.

Town centres need to change and our forward-looking plans for Huddersfield are readying the town to be able to adapt and respond to any challenges that come our way. We have absolute confidence that this scheme will transform our town centre and create something truly unique that won’t just be enjoyed by local people, but will attract visitors from far and wide.”

This marks the first step in the formal planning process.

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