Hundreds of Kirklees residents recently met with landscape architects at pop-up consultation, to discuss plans for new outdoor public spaces in Huddersfield town centre.
The ‘Pop-up in the Piazza’ sessions were part of the latest phase of public consultation on proposals for Kirklees Cultural Heart – the £210 million development scheme that aims to transform the heart of Huddersfield town centre.
The sessions, which were held over three days (25-27 August) on the Piazza grass, specifically focussed on the scheme’s outdoor public spaces and provided an opportunity for residents, of all walks of life, to discuss the plans with members of the project team.
In total, over 270 people engaged with the team during the pop-up sessions, which also included workshops with two key accessibility groups – Outlookers (representing people across Kirklees with visual impairments) and representatives of the Carers’ Network – to discuss their specialist needs and desires.
A large ambition of the Cultural Heart is to attract more families into the town centre. With this in mind, the pop-up sessions featured several activities for children, including face painting and helping to come up with ideas for the playground equipment, which will be built on the site with the help of local arts organisation The Children’s Art School.
Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
“The proposals for the public realm in the Cultural Heart are impressive, both in terms of scale and quality. The family-friendly and inclusive spaces will become destinations in their own right and will play a key role in keeping the town centre active throughout the day and into the evening.”
Hannah Thompson, Associate at re-form – the appointed landscape architect, added:
“The Pop-up in the Piazza events allowed us to engage face-to-face with locals and outline our vision in more detail. We were incredibly encouraged by the feedback we received and positive conversations we held over the three days. It was especially pleasing to hear excited young parents say the elements of play and activities included in the plans will make a huge difference in how they use the town centre in the future.”
The proposals for the public spaces within the Cultural Heart aim to set a new benchmark for town centres across the region. The free-flowing attractive spaces will be split into three core elements – a ‘public square’ that can host regular community events, a large ‘urban park’ that features play space for families and encourages physical wellbeing, and attractive ‘gardens’ that offer a space for respite and relaxation.
To ensure the outdoor public spaces can be used by everyone – accessibility has been placed at the forefront of the proposals. New public toilets, Changing Places facilities, faith rooms, wide walkways, minimal level changes and multiple types of seating will all contribute to a truly welcoming space that can be used throughout the seasons.
The second phase of the Cultural Heart public consultation is now live and you can comment on the plans until Wednesday 14 September 2022. A consultation exhibit, which will be open to the public for two hours every weekday, is currently running in the Piazza and there will be extended sessions on 6-7 September that focus on the proposed building designs.
For more information, please visit the website or get in touch with the consultation team at email@example.com or phone 0808 175 4300.