With town centres facing a difficult future, the government is creating funding pots to ensure that local authorities are able to reinvigorate their centres to provide for the community. One such town in Yorkshire is an example of one being transformed following public engagement.
The government’s Future High Streets Fund is committing £6 million worth of funding to Calderdale Council, as it looks to transform the centre of Elland, improving public spaces and the main shopping thoroughfares in the town. This will provide the community with a vibrant and safe market town, with the entire portfolio presenting more than £30 million worth of projects.
More than one hundred people were in attendance for an engagement event that the council had organised to garner feedback for the options that were available, with many more submitting their feedback through an online consultation process. Using this feedback, the council were able to refine and revise the proposals, so that everybody’s thoughts were considered.
Councillor Sarah Courtney, Cabinet Member for Towns, Engagement and Public Health at Calderdale Council, said:
“Following further feedback discussions with local people, we’re happy to be able to progress plans for the Southgate area of Elland town centre. The preferred option will retain more parking space in the Coronation Street car park, but also enable the development of an events area, with green space and seating.
“The new designs, alongside wider plans for the town will help to transform the centre of Elland and make it an even better place to live, work or visit. We’ll soon be appointing a contractor to carry out the works in the town and I look forward to seeing the plans becoming a reality.”
Green space is becoming more and more essential for towns and cities around the country, as they improve the community experience whilst also contributing to the nation’s environmental goals. The plans for Elland are no different, seeing planting and trees to the town’s high street. Improved access to Southgate and seating improvement to Southgate Square will also make the centre of the town a nicer place for residents and visitors to spend their time. This enhanced access will see Southgate undergo improvements such as wider pavements, step-free access, and revised road layouts.
Market Square is also to be developed, with this bringing the refurbishment of the local community building, the Cartwheel Club, which will help the building come back into use as a hub for community groups.
Calderdale Council has prioritised support for creating strong and resilient towns that can thrive, with these developments coming only a year ahead of Calderdale celebrating its 50th birthday. This celebration, along with other priorities for the area, being delivered as part of the Vision 2024 mission.