HUDDERSFIELD needs to utilise its open spaces to bring life and trade back to the town centre, the town’s MP says.
And Barry Sheerman, who has represented Huddersfield in Parliament since 1979, believes a commission should be established to restart the town’s centre heartbeat.
Mr Sheerman says open spaces such as St George’s Square and The Piazza should become regular venues for live entertainment and markets.
He believes businesses, such as cafes, bars and upmarket eateries, should be set up around those open spaces to encourage more people to socialise there.
Mr Sheerman said: “St George’s Square is a lovely space that isn’t often used.
“I’d love to see it full of places to eat and drink.
“We would benefit if we had a Betty’s or a Pizza Express. Why don’t we have a Waitrose in the town centre? It doesn’t have to be a massive supermarket.
“We have some lovely spaces and we need to use them to their fullest potential.
“You only have to see how successful the European market is when it is brought to the centre of Huddersfield, but it’s only there for one week.”
Mr Sheerman said Kirklees Council should also encourage farmers’ markets to come to town more often.
He also urged the council to look at relaxing busking regulations, a move which could bring in more free, live entertainment for shoppers.
Currently musicians or entertainers who want to provide street theatre or music have to go through a complex administrative process with the council’s licensing department.
Mr Sheerman added: “Let’s look at targeting particular focal points. There’s real potential there.”
Mr Sheerman also believes a commission should be set up with the specific aim of reviving the town centre.
He said: “Let’s have a town centre commission and send them to successful towns and learn from them.
“We need to get local traders more involved. The more they make of our lovely areas, the more their businesses will expand.”
Mr Sheerman also thinks Kirklees Council should get tough on businesses which create eyesores.
He said: “There are some ghastly shops in Huddersfield that have been able to put in some horrible advertising boards.
“The council should act against anybody that has a premises that lets down the quality of the street”.