Huddersfield Unlimited has outlined its vision for the town’s future at its inaugural ‘Our Huddersfield, Our Future’ mini-conference, held on Thursday 20 October.

The public event at the John Smith’s Stadium brought together speakers from Kirklees Council, TransPennine Express and The University of Huddersfield to discuss the future of Huddersfield. The event was also attended by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, who delivered the closing speech.

The conference enabled Huddersfield Unlimited’s key stakeholders to share collective ambitions for the town and focused on exploring what can be achieved over the next five to ten years and beyond. The conference highlighted how Huddersfield can make the most of its logistical and socioeconomic strengths, such as being at the centre of the North’s East-West transport routes, especially with the surge of public sector investment.

Speaking from Kirklees Council was Edward Highfield, Service Director in Skills and Regeneration; from Transpennine Express was George Thomas, Business Development Director; and The University of Huddersfield was represented by Prof. Liz Towns-Andrews OBE, Director of External Engagement, Huddersfield Business School, 3M Professor of Innovation and director of Huddersfield Unlimited.

The event included a Q&A, a panel session, and a copy of Huddersfield Unlimited’s Vision document for the public to take away.

Guest speaker Councillor Graham Turner and Cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration at Kirklees Council delivered a closing speech. He said about the event: “‘I am delighted to stand here today amongst fellow friends of, and believers in Huddersfield. We all know these are uncertain times for the country as a whole, but it is in uncertain times when we have to show courage, which is why we remain committed to our ambitious plans to deliver transformational projects in Huddersfield, to drive opportunity and prosperity for all.’

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, in her closing statement said: “Yesterday’s conference was a great opportunity to hear more about the fantastic vision for Huddersfield. Huddersfield is rich with history and brimming with talent and opportunity. I look forward to continuing to work with our local partners to deliver this investment and make the town an even better place to live, work and study.”

The event also saw a number of business leaders discussing topics such as Kirklees Council’s Cultural Heart and Station 2 Stadium Enterprise Corridor projects, the Trans Pennine Rail Upgrade, as well as The University of Huddersfield’s multi-million £ investment in a world-class National Health Innovation Campus.

The public audience, which included senior business leaders and figureheads from across Kirklees, was invited to explore how all organisations could work together to capitalise on those once-in-a-generation investments, making Huddersfield the place to live, work and play it should and can be.

The Chair of Huddersfield Unlimited, Sir John Harman, said: “Huddersfield Unlimited was set up with one unifying aim; a determination that Huddersfield should have a vibrant, successful future. The time is now, with committed investment in the Civic Quarter, the University and rail infrastructure worth over £1bn over the next few years; a powerful lever to bring in business investment. With determined promotion and advocacy, together we can make Huddersfield THE place to live and work in the M26 corridor.”

The conference was held from 3.00pm-6:00pm on the 20th of October 2022, at John Smith’s Stadium, Stadium Way, Huddersfield, HD1 6PG.