The University of Huddersfield is delighted to have received a committee resolution from Kirklees Council to grant Reserved Matters planning permission, so that the construction of the prominent and high quality first phase building on the Southgate site that will become the home to the University’s new National Health Innovation Campus can proceed.

This follows a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee, and the University is now looking forward to the issue of the formal decision notice so it can commence the development of the new 10,000 square metre first phase building. It has been designed by locally-based architects AHR, who have previously worked with the University on the award-winning Barbara Hepworth and Oastler buildings.

This first phase of the Southgate development will include a new home for the Health and Wellbeing Academy.

The local community will also benefit from access to an award-winning podiatry clinic, a telehealth service, sports and physiotherapy clinics, parent and child clinics, mental health clinics and public-facing spaces dedicated to social science.

The new building represents a significant investment by the University, and will be the biggest construction project in the town as the construction of the University’s second-largest building proceeds.

The building will host a number of classrooms, labs and other specialist facilities for learning which will include:
• A mock-up operating theatre
• A mock-up ambulance known as a ‘simbulance’
• A community flat/dwelling that will replicate visiting patients at home
• Our award-winning Podiatry Clinic, which will be open to the public
• Dedicated office and workspace for external partners

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan CBE said, “This is a significant step along the road to our goal of improving health outcomes and leading innovation in healthcare for the North of England with the National Health Innovation Campus.

“The new building will be a welcoming space for the local community, students and staff. It will help bring together our public-facing health facilities, our entrepreneurial academic activity and research, and make a key contribution to the health economy at a local level and on a larger scale.”

Part of the University’s ambitious vision for the new building, on the site of the town’s former leisure centre, is that it will be the first higher education building in the country to be built to the WELL Platinum standard. This is a system by which buildings adhere to standards for better health and wellbeing through improved air, water, light and other factors.

The campus will enable rapid expansion in fields such as nursing, midwifery, allied health and human sciences, which will help to meet the demand for healthcare professionals.

The Yorkshire and Humber region has some of the worst figures in England regarding the health of its population, with the third lowest life expectancy for both men and women, high levels of obesity and the second highest rate of deaths in infancy.