Kirklees Council has successfully secured £779,430 of funding in a bid to “green-up” local high streets and attract more visitors.
The pandemic has meant that highstreets in Kirklees have been on the frontline of many challenges. People stayed close to home and shopped online.
The funding is from the Welcome Back Fund part of the European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) 2014-2020 Programme. It will go towards injecting splashes of greenery and colour into the heart of our local communities to help improve footfall.
The project is aimed at district centres where there are more than 15 businesses within 150m of the planters. Six suitable centres have been selected for the project to take place.
The plants included herbaceous perennials, grasses, ferns, and shrubs which will provide colour and interest with all year round including attractive seed heads during the autumn months/early winter.
Locations were deemed suitable by meeting a list of eligibility criteria. The criteria included areas where the planters will be highly visible and have the highest impact and do not obstruct or obscure crossings, junctions, and roundabouts.
The planters will not block access for vehicles, pedestrians or wheelchair users. The planters will be located away from dropped kerbs and parking bays.
The project is due to be complete by 31 March. It will be a temporary addition giving vibrance to our town centres. As well as, offering a more inviting local centre and shall encourage people to visit.
High streets in Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton, Batley, Marsh, Moldgreen and Almondbury will take on a new look and feel with new street planting. Additionally, it will include cleansing, removal of graffiti and painting to ensure the setting for the planters is appropriate and maintenance can be upheld throughout the project.
Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said: “We want to make our high streets greener, healthier and more sustainable. The planters will be a welcomed addition and will help instil pride and belonging.
“Our high streets need to become more vibrant and adaptable, with local communities empowered to take the lead and ensure they can succeed. Green community spaces have a number of positive impacts.
“As well as environmental benefits, it’s a great chance to meet new people from your local area and pick up some new skills whilst playing an important role within your community.
Councillor Eric Firth, Cabinet Member for Town Centres said: “This is a great way to make new connections in the local community.
“The planters will guarantee an explosion of colour on the highstreets of Kirklees. Healthy streets help get people outdoors and down the highstreets promoting walking as a transport mode by making the walking experience more enjoyable.
“As we level up and build back better, our high streets must be at the forefront of our recovery. We are constantly working to deliver an ambitious, imaginative vision of our high streets so they can adapt – as they have always done – but also boost pride and prosperity as the heartbeat of local communities throughout Kirklees.”