MASSIVE building projects worth tens of millions of pounds look set to transform Huddersfield town centre over the next three years.
Picking up the pace of recent construction and investment programmes, 19 sites at the heart of the town are either currently being developed or are firmly in the sights of builders and big businesses.
And Kirklees Council is gearing itself to maximise on Huddersfield's potential as a hot spot between Leeds and Manchester as well as a burgeoning business and creative centre in its own right.
An overview of all the actual and planned-for schemes was today being discussed by councillors sitting on the high-powered Huddersfield area committee charged with looking at town centre issues.
Members asked for an overview of development and investment projects valued at over £1 million that had been given planning approval, were going through the planning process or were being examined for feasibility. All are expected to see the light of day by 2007.
A town centre map accompanying the officers' report is peppered with locations of the regeneration work.
The largest schemes include the wholesale redevelopment of Huddersfield's Library and Art gallery and the transformation of St George's Warehouse and the former goods yard opposite the railway station into `St George's Quarter'.
The warehouse is Huddersfield's largest empty building. It measures a staggering 240,000 sq ft over its five floors.
Additionally , various parts of the town centre would be remodelled.
More would be done with St George's Square while the 10-storey NTL House, largely vacant following the closure of the firm's call centre, would be refurbished and let for office use.
Money would be raised from private sources, Kirklees Council, European cash, central Government or the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Peter Steniulis, of Kirklees Council's partnerships and procurement service, explained: "If most or all of these projects were implemented then they would help to transform the town centre."
He added that the investment revealed a new-found confidence and a celebration of the town's heritage.
"The town has got a fine stock of existing buildings. They are quite historic and developers are now coming alive to the potential."
He said Huddersfield could leave the shadow of cities such as Leeds and Manchester.
"Clearly Leeds and Manchester are on a different scale and have different potential but Huddersfield can actually gain because of its strategic location between those two.
"I think the time for Huddersfield has very much come now."