COUNCIL chiefs are determined that town centre redevelopments in Huddersfield are done right.
They have praised the town's innovativeness and creativity, and described it as home to culture and many successful businesses.
But they also say Huddersfield cannot afford to stand still.
The huge and emotive debate about the redevelopment of the public library and art gallery showed the transformation of the town centre is a subject close to many hearts.
A council spokesman said: "Finding a solution to the problems of ageing buildings - and modernising town centres - is not easy.
"By working with a team of consultants and architects, we hope to deliver better services for local people and a strong cultural identity for the town, but one which also builds on our position as the second most successful retail centre in West Yorkshire, after Leeds.
"The area covered by the library, the Piazza area and shops, the market hall and the multi-storey car park has the potential to attract up to £135m of investment ."
The first four schemes only affect the building or existing site of the library and the open land to the side and rear.
They do not include proposals to redevelop the market hall, car park or the wider piazza area.
Even though the schemes are smaller they are not necessarily cheaper for the council. This is because they create a limited number of new shops - and it is the sale of these shops which raises the money to help pay for the overall costs.
Options 5, 6 and 7 are much larger schemes and involve a major redevelopment of the wider area, including part of the Piazza, the market hall and the multi-storey car park.
The consultants have suggested options for this larger area, as the next step in regenerating the town centre, because both the market hall and car park will need modernising and repairing within 10 years - at considerable cost to the council.
The work could be paid for by the money generated from commercial development of the larger site.
Because more shops and commercial premises would be created, the cost of options 5, 6 and 7 to the council is minimal.
This means the cost of building a new library, car park and market hall would be mostly met by the proceeds of commercial development.
And, because they generate more income, the design and facilities of any new buildings can be more advanced, ambitious and creative.
Repair the library
THIS will mean a new roof, repairs to the steel frame of the building, replacing the heating, ventilation and most of the electrical systems, and repairs to the stonework. The building would be repaired, but would look almost the same as it does now, both inside and out. This means there would be limited internal refurbishment or upgrading of facilities or equipment, no additional space, and no improved access to the building, although the lift would be upgraded.
Cost to the council: £3.75m
Repair, refurbish and extend library
THIS would include a full programme of repairs, as in Option 1, but would also mean that there could be some additional refurbishment and modernisation work, to reorganise the internal space available. Offices would be moved to the back of the building, opening up space for education rooms, a larger local studies area, and improving computer facilities. In addition, there would be a glass atrium extension at the side of the building, providing a new and fully accessible entrance and reception area, together with a lift and stairs to each of the floors. A small development of 12 shops will be built on existing public space at the side and rear of the building.
Cost to the council: £1.15m
New library/art gallery plus shops
THE new building would replace the current library, providing a flexible and modern approach to library and art gallery services. There would be more space for improved services, including extra computer facilities, education rooms, a bigger local studies area and a café. The new building would have a contemporary design, eye-catching from street-level, with a landmark entrance and reception area in a prominent location opposite the Town Hall. There will be shops on the ground floor, with the library and art gallery above them. Although this would mean the loss of a familiar local building, a number of sculptural and architectural features from the current library would be retained and re-used in the new building.
Cost to the council: £0.65m
New library and gallery behind the facade of the existing building.
A NEW library and art gallery would be built behind the front and Victoria Lane elevations of the current building. At ground level there would be nine new shop units, with some of the library and art gallery space above these. Most of the current library would be demolished and replaced with a contemporary building, designed to provide modern and flexible services, with more space, education rooms and additional computer facilities. There would also be a new entrance at street level. Although this option preserves the most important parts of the outer facades of the existing building, it would mean losing the open space to the side. And, like options 1, 2, & 3, would also limit further developments in this area in the future.
Cost to the council: £2.25m
New library and gallery, a new market hall, hotel, car park and shops
THIS would be a major redevelopment of a much larger site, to include a new library and art gallery, a new market hall and shops, replacement parking (mainly underground), new flats and a hotel. A larger library and art gallery would be built opposite the town hall, with a prominent entrance, incorporating sculptural and architectural features from the existing library and creating a pedestrianised area. The new building would be of contemporary design, purpose-built for providing modern and flexible library services and facilities.
There would be a new, larger retail development, including a department store and a second large store. These shops would be on two levels, around a sweeping crescent, open public spaces and street areas, with café/restaurant and leisure facilities at an upper level.
The market hall would be at a lower level, but with easy access to the shops and with direct connections to a new satellite bus station and car park.
The whole site would be linked to the university by a bridge over Queensgate. It would also have enhanced public spaces, restaurants, leisure facilities, with a hotel and flats breathing new life into the town centre.
Cost to the council: £nil
Repair, refurbish and extend existing library. Build new market hall, car park and shops
THERE would be a full programme of repairs, refurbishment and improvements to the current library, including a complete reorganisation of the existing layout to create more space. There would be a new glazed atrium extension at the side of the building, giving full access to a modern feature entrance and reception area, in addition to a pleasant public space at the side. The full development of modern library and art gallery services would be limited by the constraints of the existing building.
As in Option 5, the refurbishment of the library building would be part of a much wider scheme, involving the creation a new market, car parking, shops, hotels, restaurants, flats and pleasant open public spaces with a bridge link to the university. However, the design would be different in order to accommodate library and gallery services in their existing building. This means there would be fewer shops, although there is still an opportunity for bold and imaginative architectural design, creating modern, landmark buildings.
Cost to the council: £1.3m
New library and gallery, new market hall, car park and shops, but convert existing library
THIS would be a major redevelopment of the larger site, to include a new library and art gallery, a new market hall and shops, replacement underground parking, new apartments and a hotel.
A larger, purpose-built library and art gallery with a prominent entrance would be built opposite the town hall, creating a pedestrianised area along Peel Street.
The existing library building would be repaired, refurbished and converted for appropriate uses which respect its heritage and architectural features. These may include offices, in addition to flats and bars/restaurants.
Part of the Piazza would be replaced with a new and larger retail development of between 80 and 90 shops, including a department store and a second large store.
These shops would be arranged on two levels around a sweeping crescent, open public spaces and street areas, with café/restaurant and leisure facilities at an upper level. There would be pedestrian links to the university, and a satellite bus station.
This option is similar in many ways to Options 5 and 6, again presenting an opportunity for bold and imaginative architectural design to create modern, landmark buildings.
Cost to the council: £nil