Batley Plaza revamp will be “wonderful” for the community
Next month’s launch of the Batley Plaza shopping complex will bring a “wonderful addition to the local community”, says the leader of Kirklees Council.
The former Batley Shopping Centre on Alfreds’ Way will be relaunched as 29,000 square foot Batley Plaza, offering 24 retail and food units in a redesigned space - seven of which have already been let.
The currently unoccupied complex is now owned by Z&F Properties, based near Wetherby, who created the Bradford Plaza development in Thornbury six years ago.
The last business left the 40-year-old Batley Shopping Centre in 2014, while the covered walkway at the back of the complex was closed two years later.
Plans to create a cultural learning centre failed to materialise, but planning permission for the new development was granted in February.
The development will include a cafe, three different sizes of retail unit, a revamped entrance, and a new stairway and lift.
Leader of Kirklees Council Shabir Pandor told Asian Sunday: “I am passionate about Batley and its people and always look at finding ways to put Batley first.
“Batley has proven time and time again it’s a great place to invest and I was really please to meet Zaid and talk through his plans for Alfreds’ Way.
“The investment is welcoming, exciting and his plans link into my vision on how Batley is at the cutting edge of how it can regenerate and become a magnet for economic and social regeneration.
“This is a prime example of how private enterprise can work with the public sector.
“I am delighted we were able to help facilitate his plans to open a shopping plaza which will not only create jobs, but also see a huge boost in tourism which can only benefit our local economy and the fabric of our town.
“I’ve been to visit the site recently and I am really impressed with how things are shaping up and the brands already signed up to take up occupancy in the plaza.
“I am particularly looking forward to seeing development of the street food offering the Plaza will bring. It’s going to be a wonderful addition to the Batley community and surrounding areas.”
Andrew Marsden, chairman of the Batley Business Association, said: “I think that the plans for Alfreds’ way are an excellent idea, and can only add to the resurgence of Batley’s high street.
“At a time when towns and even some cities are continuing to struggle with high numbers of empty units, Batley is bucking the trend.
“The redevelopment of Alfreds’ way is a much needed part of that. The arcade has been a bit of a blot on commercial street for a long time now. But hopefully in the none too distant future we will see it full of retail and entertainment.
“I know from my conversations with the new owner that there are ambitious and exciting plans in place.
“We are seeing a time where to survive high streets need to find a different offer to the traditional, as for example with Batley’s thriving evening and night time economy.
“The Alfreds’ way development is part of that new approach and I wish it every success.”
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “I’m a huge advocate for shopping locally so it’s encouraging to see that a space that has sat empty for so long is being brought back to life.
“We live in a time when our high streets are having a hard time, so let’s get behind local businesses and help them thrive for years to come.”