A listed town centre building has been regenerated into new flats.
And the first tenants are ready to view the six flats at Waverley Chambers on Kirkgate which add to the social housing stock in Kirklees.
It’s part of a wider £2.8m project to bring 125 new homes into use with funding coming from the Government’s Empty Homes Clusters programme.
The self-contained flats will be available to rent for £78 per week, are decorated, wired for digital TV and internet access, have modern kitchens and bathrooms, double glazing and smart meter heating so tenants know how much energy they’re using.
Clr Cathy Scott, Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for housing, had a tour of the flats on Wednesday and said: “They look brilliant.
“It is a listed building so there are challenges to bring them back into use, but we’ve shown we can do it here with the Empty Clusters Programme funding.
“We had the vision and we want to work with private landlords to do this elsewhere.”
That vision boosts the council’s aim to make town centres a vibrant place for living, working and socialising.
The Grade II-listed Victorian building has been home to a variety of commercial businesses and council services in the past, but it has been empty for three years.
The living use made it ideal for conversion and completion of the work comes weeks after the council backed a bid for more affordable houses in the borough.
Clr Scott heard the flats, to be managed by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, are ideal for young single people, couples and people who work in the town centre as it will remove transport costs to and from work.
Clr Scott added: “Two key priorities for the council are to create more affordable housing and to boost our town centres.
“This project is a prime example of how we can do that.
“An historic but empty building has been brought back to life, while the physical improvements and the way the flats are being let make this a very desirable place to live.”
The six flats are over three storeys, above shops on the lower ground floor, and historic features have been protected or enhanced, including the grand staircase.
Waverley Chambers is the first of three council-owned commercial premises to be converted into new homes. Estate Buildings, also in Huddersfield town centre, and the Pioneer House annexe in Dewsbury are due to be completed early in 2015.