Historic buildings in Huddersfield are set for a £2m refurbishment as part of a heritage boost aimed at unlocking the potential of high streets to fuel economic, social, and cultural recovery.

The £95m Government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme will be delivered by Historic England.

Huddersfield’s is one of 68 historic high streets across the country to benefit.

In Huddersfield one of the focuses will be on smartening up shabby shopfronts and façades in the Old Town Conservation Area, which is bordered by John William Street, Rook Street, Lord Street, St Peter’s Street, Byram Street, Kirkgate and Railway Street, and encompasses Wood Street and Station Street.

The news was welcomed by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who said the much-needed cash would aid the town’s revival.

“In Huddersfield we have more listed buildings than York and Bath. We need to nurture our towns better.  This funding goes well with the council’s blueprint for Huddersfield and what my group is trying to do in making Huddersfield a sustainable town. But we don’t just need to beautify our town, we need a thorough root and branch renaissance of Huddersfield. This new money is welcome, and I’m delighted that we’ve got it but we need lots of other stuff too.”

In being awarded £2m Huddersfield received more than its neighbours Leeds, Wakefield, and Sowerby Bridge.

Historian and former chairman of Huddersfield Civic Society, Chris Marsden, said only Tottenham had been offered more money in the current round.

 “This could make a huge difference to Huddersfield if invested appropriately and responsibly.”

Kirklees Council put in a bid to the scheme described as “the biggest ever single investment by Government in the UK’s built heritage” – last year.

On its website, Historic England it says the 68 high streets have been granted funding “to give them a new lease of life and help them recover from declining footfall and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lead partners for the schemes are working with Historic England to develop and deliver schemes that will transform and restore disused and dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops, workplaces and community spaces.”