Distribution of £2.2m to invest in the strategic development of Town Halls in Kirklees, is set to be approved at Cabinet in March.
With funding originally approved in 2020, the plans will bring forward delivery of considerable upgrades to the customer experience and commercial appeal of Town Halls across Kirklees, as well as providing essential building condition work.
The refurbishment and investment programme will provide place-based investments in Batley and Cleckheaton Town Halls to support the council’s wider small towns agenda and contribute to the delivery of the major regeneration plans for a new Huddersfield Cultural Heart and the Dewsbury Blueprint, as well as the Year of Music 2023.
Originally scheduled for later in the programme, some works at Dewsbury and Batley Town Halls have already been completed to take advantage of the buildings’ closures during lockdown. Combined, these two Town Halls have received around £400k of investment in the last 12 months.
Dewsbury Town Hall has benefitted from significant investment and refurbishment to its kitchen, function rooms, circulation spaces and main concert hall. Further allocation of the budget will see the concert hall seating upgraded.
Additional investment at Batley Town Hall will improve stage facilities for a wide range of community-based activities. Upgrades to the catering facilities will also provide additional food and drink options for the town centre and enable the venue to attract a wider range of events for the local community.
Investment at Huddersfield Town Hall will see improvements to the ground floor entrance area and other bar areas, improved facilities for commercial hirers to load in shows and a comprehensive refurbishment of the main concert hall.
Proposed investment for Cleckheaton Town Hall will help bolster the flourishing night-time economy and improve the venue widely used by the community during the day. Projects will include upgrading décor, equipment and facilities in function rooms; a full refurbishment of the main hall and reconfiguration of the reception area to accommodate a café bar; and recommissioning of lifts to aid accessibility.
Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said:
“Investing in our Town Halls not only protects them as valuable heritage assets but allows them to stand proud in the heart of our communities as vibrant and inclusive venues for everyone in Kirklees, with high calibre shows and events for us all to enjoy.
“These investments will not only generate income, but will provide valuable spaces for community groups who contribute so positively to our towns and villages across Kirklees.
“They provide a place to meet, learn and practice as well as being flagship civic buildings. This is a place-based investment that we are proud to be making.”
Inefficient equipment and electrical systems will also be replaced where required with modern, energy efficient materials and equipment contributing to an ever-reducing carbon footprint for the Council.
If approved, the remaining budget is to be allocated to all four town halls with proposed works carried out through to 2025.