After an extensive consultation over the past three years, the Brighouse Deal plans that will write a new chapter in the story of the town have been submitted to the Government.
The business cases for the £19.1m proposals have been approved by Calderdale Council and the Brighouse Town Deal Board, made up of representatives from the town’s private and voluntary sector, community and residents’ groups.
It will now be for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to review the plans and, once this review is complete, release the funding allowing work to begin on making the Deal developments a reality.
The approved projects put forward are:
- Brighouse Welcome – £400,000 to develop the public realm on the edge of the town centre and enhance the welcome to everyone – pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users or car users who’ve parked just outside the town centre and then walked in. It will encourage active lifestyles, contribute to Calderdale’s climate commitments, and create a place that enhances Brighouse’s profile as a destination. It aims to increase the number of commuters walking and cycling.
- Canalside & Thornton Square – £6 million to improve outdoor recreation opportunities and the image of Brighouse to existing and potential residents and businesses via enhanced connectivity to the Canalside, and to harness the historic value of Thornton Square to provide a quality event and community space which enhances Brighouse’s image as a quality destination for residents, businesses and visitors. It aims to increase the number of visitors to the Canalside and the number who visit cultural and heritage events.
- Brighouse Retail & Leisure – £9 million to enhance the retail and leisure offer of Brighouse’s town centre by prioritising people, enhancing the streetscape and providing opportunities to sit and meet friends to increase footfall, dwell times and support the 24-hour economy. The ambition is to increase by 30 per cent the time spent in Brighouse and the amount spent in shops, cafes, and restaurants.
- Market Revitalisation – £3 million to deliver a new market building on the Canalside with 40 fixed and pop-up market stalls with supporting infrastructure, including new toilets and spaces to sit, meet and rest. It is hoped this will help start-up businesses by providing a route for them to use pop-up stalls occasionally, through to fixed market units, through to a permanent commercial space in the town centre.
- Industry 4.0 & Skills – £650,000 to put high-tech manufacturing at the heart of the town’s future by creating an Industry 4.0 Hub where small and medium sized businesses can explore how digital technology can improve their productivity and increase innovation. It will provide the capacity for 70 new apprentices by working with partners led by Calderdale College.
If projects are given the go-ahead, contractors will be invited to tender for the work and planning applications prepared during late 2022 and early 2023, with an ambition for projects to get underway and construction to begin later in 2023, to be completed by mid-2025.
Cllr Sophie Whittaker, co-chair of the Brighouse Town Deal Board, said:
“This is an important moment for the future of Brighouse. After extensive discussions over the projects that would help unlock the town’s potential, the business cases have now been approved and submitted to Government.
“As a Board made up of people from across different sectors and groups in Brighouse, we are excited by the plans – to make our town centre more attractive for shoppers and visitors, boost the economy by encouraging growth and investment, and create a safer, cleaner and greener environment that builds on our heritage and is fit for the future.
“We look forward to receiving the approval for the developments and making sure the Deal delivers for everyone in our town.”
Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Engagement and Public Health, said:
“This major milestone means so much for Brighouse’s future resilience and success, and to everyone in the Town Deal partnership and community who has worked extremely hard to bring forward inspiring proposals to boost the town.
“There is already much to be proud of in Brighouse. The proposals build on this to help create an even more thriving economic and social hub where residents and visitors want to spend more time and more businesses want to invest. This supports the Council’s priority to build strong towns where people can connect, contribute to the local economy, be more active, feel safe, start well and age well.”
More details about the agreed plans are available on The Brighouse Deal website at www.brighousedeal.co.uk(external link).