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UKREiiF 2024: How we’ve been working to attract more investment for Kirklees

Last week we attended the UK’s biggest event showcasing national investment opportunities – to try to encourage more investment in Kirklees from further afield, and to build more great partnerships with organisations across the UK and beyond.

Our Business Kirklees team, who look after business, economy and growth across Kirklees, have been working hard to make connections that will benefit Kirklees’ regeneration and economic growth in years to come.

What’s the event?

The UK Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) is an annual event which is all about driving economic growth and investment across the UK.  Organisations and businesses from across the UK and beyond flock to UKREiiF and showcase current opportunities for investment.

The relationships we build through events like UKREiiF could help us attract more potential investors, development partners, and businesses looking to relocate in years to come – and with so many regeneration projects taking off in Kirklees at the moment, it’s the perfect time to be showcasing our beautiful borough.

All of this work will help support our big development plans and boost our economy in years to come.

What did we showcase?

As well as showcasing our large-scale transformation projects right across Kirklees – including Our Cultural Heart, the blueprints, and big connectivity projects like the Transpennine Route Upgrade – we also held our own fringe event focused on the future of health innovation in Huddersfield, working with the University of Huddersfield and Huddersfield Unlimited.

We’ve had some fantastic developments for local health innovation over the last six months alone, with the government announcing a new Investment Zone for West Yorkshire.  For Kirklees, this work will focus on the area between the John Smith’s Stadium and Huddersfield Railway Station – our ‘Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor’.

This area covers the university’s upcoming National Health Innovation Campus (NHIC), which is going to transform local healthcare education, and our flagship business centre the Glass Box, from which we’re running our new small business incubator called Thrive.  While the new campus is set to deliver a mix of world-class research, teaching and public health facilities, Thrive will help innovative businesses and entrepreneurs get great new products and ideas off the ground.

The new West Yorkshire Investment Zone was a hot topic across UKREiiF this year, not just from us but from the other local authorities across West Yorkshire.  What we’re doing now will build strong links with other hotbeds for health innovation like Leeds and Bradford.

The projects supported through this investment could make huge waves in global healthcare – like local business Paxman Scalp Cooling, whose technology has already been game-changing in helping chemotherapy patients struggling with hair loss.  And as our local reputation for healthcare innovation, training and research grows, attracting more and more fantastic healthcare workers to base themselves in Kirklees could have a knock-on effect Kirklees’ local healthcare offer too.

What happens next?

Our Business Kirklees team will continue working with the new contacts they’ve made at UKREiiF to engage brand new partners on exciting regeneration projects, and bring more new businesses into Kirklees to support our local economy.

Meanwhile, the government’s West Yorkshire Investment Zone is speeding up work on the NHIC (which you can see off Huddersfield ring road, just opposite the Glass Box) and it’s also helping us move forward other sites for potential investment – great for businesses and investors who could benefit from links to the campus, our local business support through Business Kirklees, and everything else Kirklees has to offer.

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