Leaders look set to approve plan to release £19.1m for Brighouse regeneration

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet are set to approve an investment plan which will see up to £19.1 million of Government Town Fund money spent in Brighouse over the coming years.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 10:38 am

When members meet next Monday (July 5) they are recommended to approve Brighouse’s Town Investment Plan which has been submitted to the Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government, and are asked to delegate the development of crucial detailed business cases to the council’s Director of Regeneration and Strategy, Shelagh O’Neill, Head of Legal and Democratic Services, Ian Hughes, and Director Finance, Nigel Broadbent, in conjunction with Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot).

Cabinet approval will be needed to accept the funding offer from the Ministry, once the detailed business cases are developed and approved, in 2022.

Masterplanning was signed off by Brighouse Town Board, co-chaired by Coun Sophie Whittaker (Con, Rastrick) and David Whitehead from the private sector, and drawing in membership from council, business, community and county organisations, as well as Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, last October.

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Brighouse town centre

Town Investment Plan objectives include reinvigorating the town centre as a distinctive destination, including for leisure, retail and cultural reasons, building on Brighouse’s reputation as a key manufacturing hub, promoting and developing green spaces and sustainable travel and providing greater access to skills and resultant local employment opportunities.

Assumptions are that improvements will increase people spending time and using key town centre areas by between 40 and 50 per cent.

The Heads of Terms offer sums of money for projects the Government is content to support and the Board may take forward projects selected from the list below.

The funding will also be subject to detailed project development and business case assurance at local level.

It is also dependent on final spending profiles, including expenditure limits and meeting conditions which have been set down where the Government thinks appropriate.

The funding offers which can be selected from are as follows, according to the Heads of Terms document.

An offer limited to £6.13 million towards transforming key town centre public spaces at Canalside and Thornton Square, including pedestrian and road surfacing, pedestrian crossings, tree planting, seating, artwork and cycle parking spaces.

Public realm improvements to enhance the welcome to Brighouse, including pedestrian surfacing, planting, cycle stations and six new pedestrian crossings have a funding offer limit of £5.20 million.

There is an £8.62 million funding limit offer for enhancing Brighouse retail and leisure, including pedestrian surfacing and crossings, tree planting, street furniture, artwork and cycle parking stations.

Other projects the Government is happy to green light would also require some match funding.

An Industry 4.0 and Skills Hub project has a funding offer limit of £2.58 million and would require £2.46 million match funding – this would see development of 24 new market stalls and supporting infrastructure, a market building, 270 square metres of event space, 18 new homes, four start-up units, and six more start-up or scale-up units.

The project would support the relaunch of the ex-Kirkdale Industrial Training Services by creating a new West Yorkshire Manufacturing Group apprenticeship provider and hub in Brighouse by providing state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing, engineering and green technologies equipment.

And developing on this, there is a funding offer limit of £2.39 million, which would require £570,000 match funding for more Brighouse Market revitalisation, introducing capacity for 250 apprentices in Brighouse to learn their crafts on the best equipment and working with full time engineers.