Kirklees, located in the North of England in Yorkshire Region in close proximity to the major cities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, is a metropolitan district with a population of 400,000 citizens. Kirklees is a relatively large District: it covers an area of 409 km2. Huddersfield is the largest town in Kirklees with a population of 150,000 inhabitants. The north of the district which borders the city of Leeds is dominated by the towns of Huddersfield and Dewsbury. Kirklees’ current economic strengths and weaknesses are in many ways a reflection of its industrial heritage. Huddersfield and Dewsbury were at the centre of birth of the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Huddersfield still has a worldwide reputation for manufacturing excellence and its rugged Pennine hill location and wealth of fine industrial buildings are now a positive attraction to visitors and residents. Huddersfield is within easy reach of major cities (Leeds, Manchester etc.) and has good rail and road communications north / south and east / west making it a popular place for people to live.
- By 2026, 60,000 more residents and 25,000 more people in work
- Will out-commuting continuing to increase? – is this sustainable?
- Service sector will continue to grow overall: finance and business services will still see strong growth
- High value added manufacturing will remain and reputation for product development and innovation will be central to Kirklees’ competitiveness.
- Creative and green economies key to diversification
- Growing success of Huddersfield University in stimulating graduate entrepreneurship.
- Growth Sectors – Financial and Business Services, Leisure / Retail and Construction.
- Value-added – Creative/Media (with an emphasis on design), Green Technologies, and Advanced Manufacturing (particularly in engineering).
5 current opportunities for Kirklees.
- Exploit our strategic Location – mid way between Leeds and Manchester
- Build on our reputation for Green agenda – Kirklees has one of the best reputations in the country for its environmental activities – we wish to exploit this position by encouraging the growth of environmental technologies industries to the district.
- The Importance of the University – Huddersfield is fortunate to have a large and successful university – not only does it bring in 20,000 students into the town employ several thousand people it is also has a major role in supporting our local industry with our reputation for excellence in engineering and design.
- The Creative town – Huddersfield has developed a flourishing creative /media sector which seeks to build upon
- Quality of life – we recognise that one of the most important features of our area is its attractiveness for people who choose to live, work or visit the mix of urban and rural settings rich in heritage and natural beauty.
5 current problems for Kirklees.
- Low skilled low waged economy - Our highest priority is to move the local economy up the value chain building on our key strengths in manufacturing, creativity and design.
- The Recession is a major issue. The task is to build a resilient economy which can weather the storms coming out of this recession.
- Access to good quality employment land and premises to meet the future needs of the local economy – the area does not have flat open land to develop
- Transport / connectivity – congestion – the area is in serious need of major investment in highways and public transport infrastructure.
- Areas of disadvantage and inequality – the district has areas were levels of poverty and deprivation are unacceptable. Issues of poor health, generational inactivity and low skills /attainment levels have blighted communities for generations.
Related Good Practices