Calderdale Council and the Brighouse Town Deal Board are thanking the thousands of people who saw the latest plans for the future of Brighouse, and the hundreds who had their say, during a three-week engagement process on the £19.1 million Town Deal.
The government-funded projects, which aim to transform Brighouse by encouraging more people to shop, spend time and spend money in the town, were showcased at open events, online and on paper between 15 May and 4 June with everyone invited to give detailed feedback.
The latest plans included updated designs for the new market building, visualisations showing how the town centre could look, and how a new event space would be created at Thornton Square.
It also set out how the key objective of putting the focus on people not vehicles will be achieved by changing the way traffic moves around the town centre, balancing the need to ensure easy access to shops, businesses and venues with the ambition for a safer, more welcoming centre for pedestrians.
Nearly 300 detailed responses to the survey were received with nearly 9,000 people studying the plans in detail online and several hundred more attending two open events at Brighouse Open Market and the Central Methodist Church.
Among the feedback received, 64% were positive about the proposals for Commercial and Bethel Street, 69% liked the plans for Thornton Square and 65% backed the market designs.
Naturally, some concerns were expressed about some elements of the scheme, particularly on town centre traffic movements and parking, and these are now being considered as the plans are developed in even more detail.
Other feedback received was the importance of the tiled image currently on the front of Brighouse Market and a desire to ensure it is captured in the designs for the town centre. This will now be fed into the future design process.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and the Voluntary Sector, Cllr Sarah Courtney, said:
“It is very encouraging that so many people in Brighouse wanted to see the latest Town Deal plans and have their say on the proposals. Thank you to everyone who gave their time to give their views.
“The team delivering the projects are now working hard to see where some of the ideas from the engagement can be incorporated, including feedback around details like parking and access for deliveries and the importance of pedestrian spaces.
“The individual identity of each of our towns is what makes them so special, and it was great to hear from passionate local people in Brighouse, who share our ambitions for a safe, thriving and welcoming town.”
Chair of the Brighouse Town Deal Board, Cllr Howard Blagbrough, said:
“The Brighouse Deal investment will have a huge impact on our town centre, and the engagement was a fascinating experience to really listen to people’s thoughts. There is understandable interest, passion and debate about what is involved and what it will mean.
“As the Town Deal Board, here to represent residents and businesses across Brighouse, we know there are many different views – from those who want full pedestrianisation to those who want more access for vehicles, and it is important we balance those and get this right within the objectives set by government for the scheme and how the £19.1 million can be spent.
“It is not easy, but we are all working hard to achieve that, and I am confident the Deal will transform the town and be a first step that is a catalyst for further improvements and investment in the future.”
The next stage of the Brighouse Town Deal projects focuses on the finer design details and bringing the contractors who will deliver the work on board.
Work is likely to start on the market project first and it is hoped this will begin in early 2024, with the work to the rest of the town anticipated to start later in 2024.