Leeds-based law firm Clarion has brought together leading figures from businesses in the region, the local authority and the university at an event to discuss investment in Kirklees.
A roundtable held at the University of Huddersfield in early July, saw the law firm joined by Yorkshire building and timer merchants Myers Building Supplies; Huddersfield pharmaceutical manufacturer Thornton and Ross; Birstall-based bathrooms business Cubico; Kirklees Council; Huddersfield Unlimited; West Yorkshire Combined Authority; the University of Huddersfield; and Handelsbanken.
The group discussed investment in Kirklees, including some of its key developments such as the ‘National Health and Innovation Campus’ and the ‘Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor’, as well as the region’s skills gap and the regeneration of Huddersfield.
The National Health and Innovation Campus is a 7-acre plot on the site of the former Huddersfield Sports Centre in Southgate, which includes the new Daphne Steel Building, and will be home to the university’s Health & Wellbeing Academy, run by the School of Human and Health Sciences. The Creative Health Project will support people who are out of work, plus mental health projects, and will provide connectivity between job centres and the private sector.
In addition, the Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor, located between Huddersfield train station and the John Smith’s Stadium, aims to bring highly-skilled jobs to the town. The corridor, centred around the University of Huddersfield’s £250 million National Health Innovation Campus, will have a high-quality urban design.
“With its central location between Leeds and Manchester, Kirklees has around 10% of the UK population within an hour’s drive, giving it a great opportunity to capitalise on its plans to invest over £1b in Huddersfield and Dewsbury,” explains Steve Crow, business development director of Clarion. “The ambition of those working, living and investing in in the region is further underpinned by its globally respected university and investment in a gigabit infrastructure as well as its diversity of businesses, particularly in the engineering, aerospace and chemicals sectors.
“While there are already a number of really innovative projects underway, collaboration on skills and innovation across the public and private sector is vital in order to enhance value and drive economic growth in Kirklees. In particular, the roundtable discussed ways of retaining talent and ensuring that exciting career opportunities are available to graduates in the region.
Together, we will be focusing on how we can build on the region’s world-class expertise in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, health and technology, to help all those invested in Kirklees to achieve the region’s full potential.”
Another event to discuss investment in Kirklees will take place on 7 November.