ST GEORGE'S Square is to get a £4m facelift.
Kirklees Council has been recommended to give the final green light to a complete revamp of the historic square on October 17.
It is hoped the massive facelift will turn the square into a major attraction and central feature to rival major cities like Leeds and London.
The new square will be able to stage outdoor events with up to 10,000 spectators but will also preserve and highlight the square’s history and heritage.
Next week’s recommended approval will mark the end of two years of consultation where the public elected a design which retains much of the square’s original character.
Facilities to help bus and train passengers also feature in the new design. Buses and taxis will run on a slightly re-aligned Railway Street while car drivers will get to the station and George Hotel via a special station approach from John William Street. The number of car and disabled parking spaces will remain unchanged.
The roundabout between the George Hotel and Britannia Buildings will be replaced by a piazza which can be transformed into a temporary stage for events with audiences of up to 10,000.
Following strong public demand for the re-introduction of a water feature, the square will include a water wall at the entrance to the lower square. Water jet fountains will be built in front of the station portico with the statue of Sir Harold Wilson repositioned slightly.
The design has been produced by Whitelaw and Turkington Landscape Architects of Leeds, in conjunction with the Council’s Environment and Transportation and Regeneration directorates.
The scheme is financially supported by Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humber, as part of the Huddersfield Renaissance Town Initiative and by Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
Work in expected to start in February and finish in October 2008.
Clr Ken Sims, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It will make the square a major attraction and an incredibly attractive gateway for visitors, particularly those coming by public transport.
“The public gave us a clear and overwhelming message of support for developing the square as vibrant and attractive public space which could cater for events, as well as bringing together in a planned and integrated manner transport facilities of buses, trains and taxis.
“The scheme reflects those views, and is a central feature to the wider heritage, regeneration and renaissance programme for Huddersfield.”
Clr Martyn Bolt, Cabinet member for Highways and the environment, said: “We are very keen to support the significant growth in rail passengers using Huddersfield Station by making it easier for them to make their onward journeys.
“We have also insisted on using as much of the existing stone paving as possible and low energy lighting, without any compromise in quality. We have also included an innovative low energy traffic signal system, the first in Kirklees.”