Kirklees Council has initiated the Holmfirth town centre revitalisation project, marking the initial step towards the realisation of their ambitious Holmfirth Blueprint vision. This comprehensive plan primarily centres around the enhancement of the River Holme area, garnering significant local endorsement.

The Holmfirth Blueprint encapsulates the council’s strategic roadmap for the town centre’s growth, projecting its evolution over the years ahead.

Holmfirth, renowned for its historical charm, is a jewel within Kirklees. The blueprint places a strong emphasis on elevating its vitality as a community space catering to individuals of all generations, fostering interactions, local enterprise, cultural activities, and events.

The blueprint’s formulation stems from extensive consultations with the town’s inhabitants and workforce, reflecting a collective effort to shape its future.

Among its pivotal objectives, the blueprint concentrates on diverse aspects of progress. Central to this is the transformation of the River Holme into a scenic focal point within the townscape.

These endeavours encompass creating vantage points along the riverbanks, affording pedestrians closer proximity to the water’s edge, and enhancing the overall river ecosystem.

Notably, Kirklees Council conducted a formal public consultation regarding the Holmfirth Blueprint in the preceding year. This process facilitated the identification of priorities within the blueprint. The local populace voiced their profound attachment to the project, resulting in widespread public backing.

The initial phase of activity involves the commencement of clearing vegetation and facilitating access to the river embankment. The council is poised to undertake ecological assessments, ensuring both the structural integrity of the embankment and the preservation of the adjacent river ecosystem.

Throughout these efforts, the prevailing natural environment adjoining the river remains the council’s paramount concern. The transplantation of thriving vegetation to new locales is planned, fostering their growth and flourishing in novel surroundings. Furthermore, the council intends to install a bat box, creating a conducive habitat for bats during the project’s duration.

Collaborative efforts with River Holme Connections and Brooks Ecological Consultants underscore the council’s partnership-driven approach during this stage.

Subsequent phases within the Holmfirth Blueprint encompass the development of communal spaces, aimed at enabling the public to relish panoramic views of both the river and the historic heart of Holmfirth. These advancements are on the horizon.

As the undertaking advances, potential implications for local events might arise. In such instances, the council pledges close cooperation with event organisers, striving to curtail disruptions to the minimum possible extent.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Growth & Regeneration, said; “It’s fantastic to see the first tangible steps being taken towards delivering the Holmfirth Blueprint – and these preliminary works are contributing to a project which has seen tremendous public support. The River Holme gives Holmfirth its name and is already a beautiful feature within the town centre, so it’s unsurprising that putting the river back at the heart of the town is important to so many.

“At the end of the day, our blueprints are about creating better, more beautiful and more functional centres for local people to enjoy, and they’re also about preserving Kirklees’ beauty and heritage for future generations. I’m very excited to see these plans come to life.”

Councillor Masood Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Environment, says; “Our blueprint plans across Kirklees aren’t just about taking urban centres into the future. They’re also about future-proofing the beauty that’s already there.

“Making sure the existing natural environment around the River Holme is preserved and improved, and that wildlife currently living around the river is well cared for and supported throughout – that’s our priority with this initial work. We’re not just improving Holmfirth for local people but for the local environment too.”