Transformational plans for Batley town centre have been given a major boost after a successful bid for a £12 million share of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF).
The Batley Blueprint will be largely funded by the LUF, with an extra £3 million funding from the council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s ‘Streets for People initiative’, totalling approximately £15 million for the project.
Leader of Kirklees Council, Cllr Shabir Pandor, said: “This is great news for Batley. The successful bid will kick start our plans to transform the town centre and bring opportunities for the whole community.
“The bidding process has shown the very best of Batley. Our bid has been a true team effort between the council, our MP Kim Leadbeater, Batley councillors, the Fire Service and Police alongside local residents and businesses. Their hard work has paid off and I can’t wait to start delivering the project.
“We’ll continue to work with local businesses and residents as we deliver these major improvements.
“We submitted four Kirklees bids during this round of bids for Levelling Up funds. I want to thank all the MPs, businesses and local people who supported us to put some brilliant plans together. We will keep working to bring investment to all parts of Kirklees and we have a great selection of ambitious plans that will help us deliver the economic growth we all need.”
The bid means major improvements to Batley town centre, creating a more modern destination, and a safe and inviting environment for everyone who lives, works and visits the area. The council hope that the transformation could stimulate up to £60m of economic investment into Batley over the next few years.
The plans include making significant changes to Commercial Street, one of the main routes through the town centre. The route would move away from being a thoroughfare dominated by car traffic, with improvements to the public realm as well as sustainable transport routes, opening up the town centre for improved business and market opportunities.
A socialising space would be created, with the aim of increasing footfall to local businesses and improving access to the Tesco supermarket.
Improved pedestrian and cycle links to the park and better lighting along local routes are proposed, connecting several of the other proposed projects around Batley.