Up to £45m will be invested in town centre arts and culture, the Kirklees Labour group has promised.
It’s one of the manifesto pledges for Labour ahead of the May 3 local elections.
It is expected to include a cultural quarter for Huddersfield town centre, with investment in the library and art gallery, the Piazza and market hall.
And the first step may come as soon as next Tuesday, two and a half weeks before election day, with Kirklees Cabinet set to sign an agreement with Arts Council England (ACE) and the University of Huddersfield to develop a plan aimed at boosting culture and the arts.
Other election pledges include £13m for a North Kirklees leisure centre and £200,000 for town and village ‘champions.’
In a statement released by councillors David Sheard and Shabir Pandor, Labour’s leader and deputy leader, they said: “In the last few years Labour has delivered a huge amount for people throughout Kirklees, whilst facing unprecedented levels of cuts from the Tory Government in Westminster.
“We have managed to protect frontline services, balanced the books and made progress on regeneration of our town centres.
“There are tough decisions ahead of us still but it is not all doom and gloom. There is much we want to do, much we can achieve by investing to strengthen our communities.
“We want to revive our town centres and enhance our villages.
“We want residents young and old to live healthy lives in safe communities, with access to recreation and the services they need. We want those who require extra support to receive it.
“Local groups, organisations and the voluntary sector play a significant role in shaping our communities and we will commit to helping them to do this.”
The £45m pledge for Town Centre Arts and Culture will see Kirklees make the “best use of our artefacts, heritage and streetscape.”
The statement adds: “In Huddersfield we will focus on major investment in the library and museum, the Piazza and market hall area – create a cultural quarter.
“In Dewsbury (we will focus on) the town park, through art installation and streetscape, around the town hall and main square.”
For the town and village champions, they want Kirklees staff to act as ‘fix-it’ teams for half a day a month, providing hands-on support to local voluntary and community groups.
Kirklees’ budget already makes provisions for a £13m investment in the new North Kirklees Leisure Centre at Spenborough.
Clr Carole Pattison, Labour Group chairman, said that funding would come from capital rather than revenue, which is day-to-day spending, adding: “This shows that we are ready to make good on our budget promises and shows we have aspirations for our area.”
Labour are just two seats away from having an overall majority on the council.
Next Tuesday Kirklees Cabinet will be asked to agree to a Memorandum of Understanding with ACE and the university, making a public declaration of each partner’s commitment to working together.
It may include initiating a cultural quarter, the heritage offer and the promotion of Huddersfield as a global cultural, creative and heritage destination with a world class music offer.