Huddersfield Town Centre has gained six new town centre support officers. The support officers are there to help improve the safety and cleanliness of Huddersfield Town centre.
The support officers’ goal is to boost the confidence of town centre shoppers and staff as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
The officers are part of a six-month trial period funded by Kirklees Council. The council have worked with Huddersfield BID in recruiting and managing the officers.
The focus on improving the Town centre is part of the Blueprint plans for Huddersfield’s regeneration. The aim is to create a welcoming, safe and attractive town centre for residents and visitors.
The town centre support officers will help to bring a reassuring presence across the town. They will remind shoppers of COVID-19 safety measure, reduce anti-social behaviour and report environmental issues like damaged pavements or street furniture so the council can fix them.
Confidence Boost for Huddersfield
Colin Parr, Strategic Director for Environment & Climate Change, said: “After a challenging twelve months, we know our town centre businesses will be raring to go once Covid-19 restrictions ease, but some shoppers may be nervous about returning to the town centre again.
“That’s why we’re working with Huddersfield BID to do all we can to build the confidence of the town and welcome people back in the most positive and safe way we can.
“The town centre officers play a vital role in supporting and educating visitors on how to stay COVID-safe, providing a reassuring presence and, in partnership with the police, making sure any anti-social behaviour is dealt with quickly and efficiently.
“They also keep the area clean and report graffiti, broken street furniture, and problems on the highway so we can speed up repairs and make sure the town looks attractive.”
Safe, Welcoming and Attractive Town
Huddersfield BID will manage the officers on a day to day basis. They will also work with town centre businesses to identify where they can help and have the most impact.
Huddersfield BID manages the officers on a day-to-day basis and works with town centre businesses to identify where they can have the most impact.
Matthew Chapman, Huddersfield BID Manager, commented: “Huddersfield BID is very much committed to promoting a safe, welcoming and attractive town with lots on offer and this team of six town centre officers strengthens that in abundance.
“Very much a group of ‘doers’, flexible in their approach but proactively committed to working with people, as a collective, for the good of the town.
“This partnership is a shining example of the positive impact of working together, which is essential now more than ever, and I would encourage businesses and people alike to join us on this journey.”
A COVID-safe Town Centre
The council is also offering tailored PPE packs, which are available for businesses and community organisations. The packs will support the safety of companies and their employees ahead of the 12 April reopening.
The support is available for several businesses and community organisations such as:
- Non-essential retail
- Personal care services
- Taxi firms
- Market traders
- Voluntary organisations
- Faith organisations
Eligible organisations will have received a letter about the PPE pack. It invites them to book a slot for collection or delivery.
The free PPE packs are one-off and include items such as hand sanitiser and face covering.
The main aim is to boost the confidence and feeling of safety for employees and customers returning to Huddersfield Town centre.
If you think you’re eligible for a pack and have not received communication, you can send an enquiry to PPE.C19@kirklees.gov.uk.