Key funding date for seven multi-million pound Calderdale developments

Funding is being sought for major plans which will change Halifax town centre
Funding is being sought for major plans which will change Halifax town centre

Millions of pounds worth of funding for a number of major Calderdale schemes are recommended for approval when a key West Yorkshire Combined Authority committee meets.

They include major plans which will change Halifax town centre, including a major revamp of a roads scheme and redevelopment of Halifax Bus Station.

Other schemes the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee will consider include Clifton Business Park, for which £3.1 million towards the scheme is recommended for approval.

Projects which are coming before the committee seeking approval for changes also include corridor improvement schemes for the A58/A672 and the A646/A6033, which seek to improve traffic flows and air quality on two major routes into Halifax from Ripponden and Todmorden respectively, and a rail park and ride scheme for Hebden Bridge.

Although not in Calderdale, changes to proposals for a new link road at Cooper Bridge, close to Brighouse, are also being considered.

In the case of projects where design changes are being considered, the alterations mean delivery of schemes is likely to be delayed.

The committee is being urged to recommend to the full combined authority that funding be found towards two of the schemes, Clifton Business Park and Halifax Bus Station.

Both schemes are judged as representing high value for money, say the briefing papers, with authority funding of £3.15 million for Clifton and £200,000 for Halifax Bus Station being sought at this stage.

The Local Growth Fund funding for Clifton will allow the business park to proceed to the full business case with finalised costs stage – in all it is envisaged the project will cost around £31.1 million with some long term funding still to be determined for the project, which will speed delivery of high quality employment sites in Calderdale.

The bus station funding will allow work to be started on full business case planning for the scheme, expected to cost around £15.4 million, potentially from the Transforming Cities Fund.

Inclusion of the bus station in the West Yorkshire TCF bid to the Department of Transport will be confirmed by late November with a decision expected next March.

If the bid for TCF funding is not successful an alternative might have to be considered.

The ambitious A629 Halifax town centre project hit a major stumbling block when the former Hughes Corporation building gained Grade II listed heritage status after a plans were approved, affecting the proposed design for the Piece Gardens, which aims to enhance a major gateway site into the town from Halifax Rail Station.

To support the detailed redesign to take into account the new listed building, the committee is recommended under delegated powers to approve an extra £632,000 to cover the new estimate of £3.61 million for the scheme as a whole – with the delay it is now unlikely to be completed before late 2023.

A revised bus network around the town will also be introduced, allowing for increased bus services and improved connectivity with the rail station.

For the Hebden Bridge Rail Park and Ride project, funding of £130,000 is sought to amend delivery timescales for the scheme, which will cost around £884,000 in total.

The two corridor improvement schemes do not carry any extra financial cost but project delivery dates have changes due to a combination of limited resources and unexpected highways works, say the briefing papers.

The council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration and Resources, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot), said during the public consultation for this project, the Piece Gardens element of the plan received a lot of positive feedback and letters of support, so the authority was determined to continue with viable elements of the proposal.

“This phase of the A629 project would transform Halifax town centre and it’s estimated that footfall, bus use, cycle use and commercial space occupancy rates would all increase in the years following its completion.

“The revised transport flow would also improve access to public transport, subsequently improving connectivity to jobs and housing,” she said.