The council has agreed to lend developer WD Limited the capital required to develop the much-awaited leisure expansion at Huddersfield’s Kingsgate Centre.

The Kingsgate Centre expansion will include a cinema, bowling alley, restaurants and other leisure facilities, which alongside the pre-existing shops will encourage more people to visit the town centre.

The council’s investment, is being delivered through their Property Investment Fund, which has already supported the development of the old Co-Op building on New Street. Work will start on the new scheme in the summer of 2021, and is due to be complete by the end of 2022. 

Cllr Peter McBride said: “The council is committed to delivering on our blueprint visions for Huddersfield, and this development forms a significant part of our regeneration. 

“Kingsgate forms the anchor for the town’s shopping offer, and the new leisure facilities will enhance the nearby cultural heart redevelopment.

“Offering the loan to the developers means we will see the project take place in a shorter timeframe, which in turn will provide much needed economic benefits for the town.

“As we begin the vaccine roll out, we are looking forward to a future where Kirklees is ready to receive visitors again. Bringing forward key projects such as The Light cinema will make sure Huddersfield bounces back and offers the attractions people want to visit.”

Developer WD Limited said “I am grateful for the Council’s support in delivering this scheme.  We are excited about bringing a cinema in to Huddersfield town centre alongside a variety of food and restaurant uses.  Our redeveloped centre will provide a new destination within the town centre with the opportunity to shop, eat and see the latest films.”

Keith Pullinger of The Light  said “We are thrilled to be  part of this exciting venture in Huddersfield and are looking forward to   bringing the next generation of leisure experiences to the town with our cinema, bowling and diner.”

The loan funding is provided on equivalent commercial terms and ensures the council will cover its own cost of borrowing and is inclusive of an appropriate risk contingency. The nature of the Property Investment Fund means that the council can fund priority capital schemes that meet wider strategic regeneration benefits in a way which a purely commercial lender may not be prepared to do as part of their overall risk assessment of proposals.