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The Old Sports Centre which could be Transformed into a Health Hub  Posted On 20 November 2020

Kirklees Council reportedly met on November 18th to make a decision, after the University of Huddersfield put in an offer for the former sports centre site at Southgate.

 

If the council agrees to the offer, it could see the six acre site revolutionised into a National Health Innovation Campus. The land, which is considered to be a prime site within Huddersfield Town Centre, had also been eyed by West Yorkshire Police as a new divisional HQ. However, according to YorkshireLive, West Yorkshire Police have made three unsuccessful bids, and have now decided to relocate, paving the way for the University to secure the site.

 

The University plans to develop the site in a number of phases, with the first phase, a prominent gateway building, to be opened by the start of the 2024/25 academic year. Among other services, the University outlines blueprints to include a Health and Wellbeing Academy, as well as world-leading research facilities, and specialist clinical teaching facilities. On top of this, there are also plans to cover public facilities, such as sports and physiotherapy, and mental health clinics. All of the above has prompted Clr Peter Mcbride, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration to say that, ‘We could see an investment worth up to £250 into this site’.

 

Among others who were in favour, Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, labelled the University plan to be ‘the right proposal’. In a report to cabinet, he also mentioned that, ‘The university is the real heart of our wealth and our future. So I am in favour of it’. These sentiments were echoed by University Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan, who commented, ‘The University is determined to help end health inequality in our region’.

 

The hope is that by establishing the National Health Innovation Campus, the University can, as Mcbride outlines, ‘bring new people to the town’, as well as, ‘Help grow that workforce (of Huddersfield), improve research and support the ongoing training of local practitioners’.

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