Some of Huddersfield’s most iconic buildings will be seen in a new light.

Work will start on Monday on a facade lighting scheme for some of the buildings in Huddersfield’s St George’s Square.

The lighting scheme will cover Lion Chambers and Britannia Buildings in the square and is being funded by Kirklees Council.

It will complement the wider refurbishment of the square and work carried out last year to light the railway station.

The new scheme will cost in the region of £45,000 and will illuminate the ornate lion and Britannia Statues, the central section of Lion Chambers and the frontage of Britannia Buildings.

 

Low-energy lighting will be used to keep maintenance and energy consumption costs to a minimum and the lights will be switched off around midnight to further save on energy.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “Council officers have consulted with the building owners and heritage professionals to ensure a cost-effective lighting solution which minimises the impact of the equipment installed on the listed buildings.

“The work is expected to be completed in early October and will require the closure of parts of Railway Street and Station Street between 11.30pm and 6am from September 23 to 27 to allow the lights to be fixed to Britannia Buildings.

“During this time, the one way restrictions on St George’s Street will also be suspended to allow taxis to enter and exit the square.”

Clr Peter McBride, Kirklees Cabinet member for Place, said: “This lighting scheme will highlight several fine buildings which were built with wealth created through the local textile trade.

“It will bring this part of our history into sharper focus and round off the improvements to the square and the station lighting.”

Britannia Buildings in Huddersfield, to be illuminated
Britannia Buildings in Huddersfield, to be illuminated

Lion Chambers were built in 1853, designed by Pritchess and constructed by Samuel Oldfield.

They were originally designed as an arcade of shops and offices, leading to storage areas for the town’s woollen manufacturers.

The lion on top of the building is the third to be there.

The first stone-built one lasted 123 years until 1976 and has since been replaced by two fibreglass models.

The lion is said to climb down and walk around the square when the station clock strikes midnight. The clock never strikes.

Britannia Buildings was built in 1851 and 1852 from designs by Huddersfield architect William Crosland.

It was to provide warehousing for textile boss George Crosland and was ornately designed to catch the eye of rail travellers leaving the station.

Wholesale changes to the frontage were made in 1925 when the building was the HQ of the Huddersfield Building Society –  now the Yorkshire Building Society.

The building now houses a dental clinic and a restaurant.