Plans for a rejuvenated market in the heart of Brighouse have progressed as part of a £19.1 million investment in the town centre. Following a three-week engagement process over the summer led by Calderdale Council and the Brighouse Town Deal Board, the final design for the distinctive new market building has been completed. A planning application is now being prepared, and the tender process to find a contractor is set to commence shortly.

Under the UK Government-funded Town Deal, the revitalised market, costing £3 million and situated on the current canalside site, will boast approximately 20 permanent stalls, each equipped with water, drainage, and power. Additionally, a versatile central area will be available for events or extra pop-up stalls, aimed at promoting new business ventures.

In addition to seating areas, relaxation spots, and scenic views of the canal, there will be modern amenities such as new trader toilets and storage facilities, all contributing to the creation of a modern, appealing, and dynamic market with the ambition to extend its operational days.

Other enhancements will encompass an upgraded pedestrian zone at the front, as well as accessible entry points to the market. Ornate gates featuring a Brighouse-themed design will enhance security, along with the introduction of new bicycle parking facilities. New entrances and exits will be established to facilitate improved links with the town.

Pending planning approval, construction of the new market is scheduled to commence in spring 2024 and conclude by spring 2025.

With construction drawing nearer, efforts have been underway to pinpoint a location for a temporary market to ensure uninterrupted trading for stallholders and a seamless shopping experience. A provisional site has now been secured, and the current market will temporarily relocate to Daisy Street car park for approximately 12 months during construction. Situated just across Anchor Bridge from the present Ship Street site, this arrangement will ensure continuity for the market, providing support for current tenants and offering space for temporary market stalls. Further details regarding the transition to the temporary location will be provided closer to the time.

The market’s revitalisation constitutes just one facet of the Brighouse Deal initiatives, driven by the Levelling Up agenda, with the overarching goal of revitalising the town centre to make it a more appealing destination for residents, shoppers, visitors, and businesses alike.

Additional Brighouse Deal projects encompass the enhancement of public areas in the town centre to create a more inviting environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The objective is to draw more people into the town centre for extended periods, providing activities throughout the day and night. This includes the establishment of a high-quality event and community space at the historic Thornton Square, alongside efforts to improve connections between the canal and the town centre, as well as facilitating access to education, apprenticeships, and employment by building on Brighouse’s manufacturing heritage.

The Brighouse Deal is a collaborative endeavour involving the town’s private and voluntary sectors, community and residents’ groups, Calderdale Council, and Calderdale College.

Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and Voluntary Sector, said:

“It’s great to see our vision for Brighouse coming to life, starting with the market milestones. Already a vibrant town, we want to build on its distinctive character. Together with the Town Deal Board, we are striving to give local people and visitors an even better experience, day and night, by reinvigorating the town centre.

“The Town Deal projects aim to create a place that’s great to spend time in, great to walk and cycle in, a place to be connected to green spaces and nature, and a place to work and build skills – all supporting people’s health and wellbeing, Calderdale’s action to tackle the climate emergency and our priority for thriving towns and places.”

Cllr Silvia Dacre, Cabinet Member for Resources, added; “Markets are an important and valued part of high streets across Calderdale. Investing in Brighouse’s open market to bring fantastic new facilities will boost the shopper, visitor and trader experience.

“We hope this will also encourage new businesses and start-ups, providing a route for them to use pop-up stalls occasionally, through to fixed market units, to permanent commercial space in the town centre.”

Cllr Howard Blagbrough, Chair of the Brighouse Town Board, said; “The open market is an important part of Brighouse, and we have been determined to ensure it has an even brighter future, which is why I am delighted we are now in a position to submit the planning application and move forward with the project.

“Ensuring we have a temporary market site that allows our current traders to continue to trade while construction takes place is another vital part of the scheme, and we will be working with the stallholders and the Council’s markets team to ensure this is suitable for them, that shoppers know where the temporary market is, and they are encouraged to visit, shop and spend.

“After years of discussion and debate, starting work on these projects will be an important moment and I am looking forward to that happening, all being well, in just a few months’ time.”