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SKA Developments unveils Huddersfield waterfront vision

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11 Mar 2019

SKA Developments is set to unveil its vision for a project that will transform the waterfront quarter in Huddersfield, regenerating a long-neglected urban environment into a vibrant community of people and businesses. The Greater Waterfront Quarter proposals will be launched at the internationally renowned property conference, MIPIM, which takes place annually in the South of France.

The plans for the Greater Waterfront Quarter include an extensive and impressive mixed-use development, which helps to celebrate the natural environment, and connect the town centre to the waterfront quarter. The vision for the scheme sets out provision for housing, business, artisan shops, leisure facilities, community attractions and a health centre. The buildings could be 8-15 stories high on the waterfront extremity of the site, with 3-5 storey building on the St. Thomas’ Road side.

The team from SKA Developments will head to Cannes from 11-15 March to showcase their vision for the scheme and look for project partners to help transform this part of Huddersfield, providing much-needed regeneration and a commercially valuable space in the area. The site is located around a ten to fifteen-minute walk from the urban centre of Huddersfield, the Trans-Pennine station (connection to Manchester in 25 minutes and Leeds in 15 minutes), as well as the key education institutions in the Town, The University of Huddersfield and Kirklees College.

Zeb Pervaiz, SKA Developments’ Managing Director, said: “Our business and family has a 40-year heritage in Huddersfield and Kirklees, alongside a proven track record of delivering highly successful and profitable regeneration schemes, ranging from £2m to £15m. Our vision for the Greater Waterfront Quarter has been years in the planning, and we’ve worked closely with our partners, Kirklees Council and the Leeds City Region to design a scheme that will be both remarkable and truly transformational.”

“Huddersfield has undergone a renaissance, and our exciting plans for the Greater Waterfront Quarter seek to capitalise on the good work already undertaken, and planned in the future for the Kirklees Region. The waterfront in Huddersfield is a long under-utilised asset, and through the creation of a village with the River Colne and the Canal at its heart, we hope to create something very special. We’re attending MIPIM to look for partners to help us deliver this exciting project and unlock potential funding that can realise returns as early as 2022.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, which co-ordinates the City Region’s presence at MIPIM, commented: “This year we will use MIPIM, arguably one of the most important international economic development conferences, as a springboard to invite the world to discover the huge opportunities in Leeds City Region, and this project epitomises the strength and vision we have on offer.”

“I am very impressed with the plans for the Greater Waterfront Quarter and the energy and vision of SKA Developments, which will be fundamental in helping to bring this development to life.”

“With the biggest economy in the Northern Powerhouse contributing £69.6 billion GVA to the national economy, the region has the highest rate of private sector jobs growth in the UK and is transforming to a knowledge-based economy faster than other UK cities. Kirklees, with its reputation for delivering high quality education in particular, is a crucial part of this continued success.”

Cllr Shabir Pandoor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “SKA Developments have a proven track-record of delivering exceptional schemes within Huddersfield and have played an important role in regenerating the Town. It’s fantastic to see a business with an exceptionally good understanding of our area and region, setting out their ambitions for the waterfront quarter.

“Not only will SKA’s plans transform a brownfield site, but it will also improve connectivity between the waterfront and the Town and help to increase the vibrancy of the town-centre, through the delivery of another impressive scheme. We’ll work closely with their team, assisting wherever possible, to help deliver a development that can benefit all our stakeholders, and I personally look forward to supporting their plans at MIPIM.”

SKA Developments owns the majority of the land earmarked for development off St. Thomas’ Road, and has set about working with site neighbours and other stakeholders to develop plans. The ambitious scheme would represent one of the largest and most advanced development projects in Kirklees in a generation, and seeks to take advantage of the Town’s position at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, with road and rail connectivity to the North, South, East and West, on its doorstep.

The plans seek to revive the urban wilderness of the nearby waterways and help to celebrate the rich textile and industrial heritage of the Colne Valley. Pedestrian movement and the improvement of cycling provision will sit at the heart of the development, helping to reduce the need for vehicular access. Housing types are set to be varied, including a range of affordable units, a potential retirement village, hotel, student accommodation, co-living space and high-value general housing.

SKA Developments has delivered an impressive portfolio of sites within the Town, including Standard House, Dundas Work and Threadworks in the Urban Centre, alongside its current redevelopment and regeneration of 103 New Street, which has benefitted from a funding package from the Property Investment Fund at Kirklees Council.