By KLTV Newsdesk –
Kirklees Council has successfully secured £779,430 of funding in a bid to “green-up” local high streets and attract more visitors.
The pandemic has meant that high streets in Kirklees have been on the frontline of many challenges with people staying close to home and shopping online.
The funding, from the Welcome Back Fund part of the European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) 2014-2020 Programme, will go towards injecting splashes of greenery and colour into the heart of local communities to help improve footfall.
‘Greening up the Highstreets’ is aimed at district centres where there are more than 15 businesses within 150m of the planters.
Six suitable centres have been selected for the project to take place.
The council has worked with landscape architects to pull together a list of plants that will be suitable for the planters, these include herbaceous perennials, grasses, ferns, and shrubs which will provide colour and interest all year round including attractive seed heads during the autumn months/early winter.
Locations were deemed suitable by meeting a list of eligible criteria which included areas where the planters will be highly visible and have the highest impact, and do not obstruct or obscure crossings, junctions, and roundabouts.
The planters will not block access for vehicles, pedestrians or wheelchair users and will be located away from dropped kerbs and parking bays.
The project is due to be complete by 31 March and will be a temporary addition giving creative vibrance to our centres across Kirklees offering a more inviting local centre and shall encourage people to visit.
Highstreets in Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton, Batley, Marsh, Moldgreen and Almondbury will take on a new look and feel with new street planting but additionally will include cleansing, removal of graffiti and painting to ensure the setting for the planters is appropriate and maintenance can be upheld throughout the project.
Kirklees Council has been working with businesses and community groups in each area to plan for the maintenance and upkeep of the planters, we hope that local residents will visit on the selected dates, bring a trowel and get stuck in.
‘More Sustainable High Streets’
Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said: “We want to make our high streets greener, healthier and more sustainable. The planters will be a welcomed addition and will help instil pride and belonging.
“Our high streets need to become more vibrant and adaptable, with local communities empowered to take the lead and ensure they can succeed.
“Green community spaces have a number of positive impacts. As well as environmental benefits, it’s a great chance to meet new people from your local area and pick up some new skills whilst playing an important role within your community.
‘Explosion of Colour’
Councillor Eric Firth, Cabinet Member for Town Centres said: “This is a great way to make new connections in the local community. The planters will guarantee an explosion of colour on the highstreets of Kirklees.
“Healthy streets help get people outdoors and down the high streets promoting walking as a transport mode by making the walking experience more enjoyable.
“As we level up and build back better, our high streets must be at the forefront of our recovery.
“We are constantly working to deliver an ambitious, imaginative vision of our high streets so they can adapt – as they have always done – but also boost pride and prosperity as the heartbeat of local communities throughout Kirklees.”
The planters are due to be installed by 31st March in the following locations:
- Marsh centre Tuesday 22nd March 5 pm – Meet at Emily’s Cafe
- Almondbury centre Thursday 24th March 9.30 am – Meet near the steps outside Ambrys Café
- Moldgreen centre Thursday 24th March 1.30 pm – Meet at the Royal City Restaurant
- Cleckheaton centre Friday 25th March 10 am- Meet at the Memorial Park
- Heckmondwike centre Tuesday 29th March 10 am – Meet at the Memorial Statue
- Batley East centre Wednesday 30th March at 10 am – Meet at the Town Hall Batley West centre
If you would like to get in touch with the local community groups we have worked with for the project you can contact them via the details below: