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Sunday, April 14, 2024

£100M in government cash on the way for Kirklees regeneration

Some of the projects include Huddersfield Open Market, improvements to the Penistone Railway Line and the Dewsbury Blueprint

Millions of pounds worth of government investment is on the way for Kirklees as major regeneration projects move forward.

At next Tuesday’s (12 March) Cabinet meeting, members will be asked to formally accept over £100m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund for multiple schemes. A total of £16.5M will be used to revamp Huddersfield Open Market by 2026 and nearly £48m will go on major improvements to the Penistone railway line.

A further £20m has been assigned to the Dewsbury Blueprint, and an initial £17m put towards the development of the West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone which will focus on Kirklees Council’s Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor.

For each of these projects, the council submitted a bid for funding to the government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC). In the earlier rounds of Levelling Up, the council’s Batley and Marsden Blueprints also saw success, receiving £12m and £5.6m respectively, with this cash already accepted by Cabinet.

If plans for the progression of each of the projects are approved, the council will work closely with local businesses and communities, DLUHC, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to facilitate delivery over the coming years.

Cllr Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance & Regeneration, said: “I’m overjoyed to be bringing these funding proposals forward to Cabinet, because combined they’ll mean more than £100m of government investment in the future of Kirklees.

“We’re talking about a huge range of projects here – large-scale building redevelopments, improvements to public transport infrastructure, investment in local industries… and areas benefitting from this investment stretch right across Kirklees, from north to south and east to west.

“With all the issues faced by local authorities in today’s economic climate, funding injections like this are crucial to keep us moving forward. We’re continuing to put all we can into developing our local town centres, with a similarly wide-ranging and location-specific approach to our investment.

“This is all about the bigger picture, and about looking past these current difficulties to the future we want for Kirklees – we want to be creating springboards for our local economy, which will mean we’re not just surviving but thriving in years to come.

“I see this investment as a massive vote of confidence from the government in Kirklees potential for the future.”

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