Huddersfield is about to be transformed by new developments worth up to £500 million, research has found.
A project compiled by former Rastrick High School pupil James Bylina has shown the huge scale of investment planned for the town.
Using Examiner stories and Kirklees Council planning documents, James, 21, has drawn an interactive Google map of all the upcoming investments around town.
It shows the huge scale of funding being pumped into town including: the £70m HD One project, about £95m at the Waterfront Quarter off Chapel Hill and the £22m extension to Kingsgate.
Several million more is expected to be spent on creating new offices at St George’s Quarter, the Grade II listed railway warehouse behind Huddersfield Railway Station, while the student flats project at the former Co-op building at New Street is expected to cost £10m.
Meanwhile, the University of Huddersfield is pumping a further £30m into another glitzy extension, the Barbara Hepworth Building off Queen Street South.
James, who is studying for a Masters in Town Planning at Newcastle University, said he had been following the debate about the state and future of Huddersfield town centre, most prominently between Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman and BBC Leeds presenter, Liz Green.
The breakfast show presenter has criticised the town centre while Mr Sheerman has said good things are planned.
James said he wanted to add his input as evidence that things were not as bleak as some people thought.
He said: “While both of them have made good, valid points I feel what has been missed from the debate is how much investment there is currently going on and planned for the town centre.
“I have calculated that there is at least £430 million coming – Huddersfield really is on the cusp of an absolutely amazing transformation.
“There are quite a few projects that I don’t know how much they cost, so the real figure of investment in Huddersfield town centre will be way over £500m.”
James said he had spend a full week creating the Huddersfield Development Map and he planned to keep it updated for the foreseeable future as new schemes were submitted.
“I’m from Huddersfield and I care passionately about it,” he explained.
“I thought it would be a great way to showcase the scale of investment and show people the increasing amount of investment in town.
“Huddersfield seems to be doing quite well for its size – it’s punching above its weight.”
When James has graduated from his Masters he has an ambition to return to the area and work on town planning and regeneration in Huddersfield.