Huddersfield’s immense potential for health innovation investment and business growth was showcased to a high-profile business audience at our sold-out event held in Leeds last night, as part of the UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) 2024. We partnered with Kirklees Council’s Business Kirklees and the University of Huddersfield to deliver this event.

The ‘Huddersfield: the Future of Health Innovation’ event brought to the fore the catalytic impact for wider investment in the town that the major developments at the University’s National Health Innovation Campus (NHIC) and the West Yorkshire Investment Zone represent.   

Over 6,000 investors, funders and developers from across the world flocked to Leeds for UKREiiF, which is being held in the city for the second year running. The fringe event attracted over 150 public and private sector stakeholders, including investors, developers, health businesses and more, to discuss the opportunities that Huddersfield offers and create connections. 

Huddersfield is buzzing with investment potential, with the Investment Zone along the Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor and NHIC at its core. The Investment Zone, which was announced in November last year, builds on our existing strengths and represents £160million in funding over ten years with a focus on supporting innovation in the health, wellbeing and digital industries.  It will see Kirklees (alongside other West Yorkshire authorities) receive government investment to boost innovation, productivity and growth, and to support the commercialisation of research.  

The NHIC, which is currently planned to be comprised of seven new buildings, the first of which opens this September, will help to improve health outcomes and lead innovation in healthcare on a national basis by bringing together public-facing facilities, including award-winning student-led clinics, which will provide unparalleled support for workforce development. 

Sir John Harman, chairman of Huddersfield Unlimited who spoke at the event, said: “Huddersfield is seeing a wave of new investment opportunities and our joint presentation at the UK’s biggest property conference enabled us to show investors just what is possible. Whether it’s our traditional strengths of textiles and engineering, or the creation of the new Health Improvement Campus, the town is definitely on the move again, and people are beginning to wake up to it.” 

The event was a huge success.

Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for finance & regeneration, said: “This week we’ve played a part in one of the UK’s biggest investment events, working to secure more funding for Kirklees and build more strong partnerships which will benefit our beautiful borough in years to come.  I’m incredibly proud that, despite current challenges, Kirklees currently has one of the highest rates of economic growth in the country, and the highest in West Yorkshire – a trend we mean to continue. 

“We also took time, through our own fringe event, to celebrate and share the Government’s recent investment in our local health industry, which will benefit Huddersfield, Kirklees and the whole of West Yorkshire, and support innovations in healthcare which could then impact lives across the globe – like the work we’ve already seen from game-changing local businesses like Paxman Scalp Cooling.  It was wonderful to be able to host this event with the University of Huddersfield, whose National Health Innovation Campus is already set to put Kirklees on the map, and with Huddersfield Unlimited, who have always gone above and beyond to champion local business and investment. 

“I firmly believe that right now is the time to double down on our commitment to regeneration, supporting industries and innovation that will propel Kirklees into a brighter future.  In the current economic landscape, we must think of years to come – we must keep moving and improving, and build a borough which can not just survive these current challenges but thrive beyond them. 

“Thanks to our growing portfolio of support and investment, over the coming years Kirklees will be a fantastic place for businesses to really put down roots and grow.  More than anything, what we’re doing now will create springboards for our local economy which, by helping our businesses and investments thrive, will then channel that strength and success straight back into our towns for future generations.”