Mary Portas is called the Queen of Shops and publishes books and a newspaper column in the Daily Telegraph. For some reason she chose to take a side swipe at Huddersfield in her ‘Shop’ column. She said ‘ New Street in Huddersfield epitomises my greatest fear for the British high street. there’s a Lidl, a Primark, Wilkinsons, a handful of frozen food shop, jewellery and homeware shops, a few vacant premises, plus Poundland and Poundworld. It felt desolate and desperate.’ Nah then lass that’s great praise from a snooty, elitist fashionista from Watford.
I know Mary is retailer specific not location centric but some recognition of the other retailers in Huddersfield seems appropriate. The Kingsgate Centre, the main shopping mall in the city is home to more than thirty stores and half a dozen cafes and bars. It was very busy three weeks ago when I took a train trip to Huddersfield and went home ladened with books. Close by is The Packhorse Centre, comprising a dozen budget jewellery, clothes and gift stores. The Byram Arcade is a shopping and office complex, with units currently occupied by creative businesses, independent publishers and music, gift and art stores.
Huddersfield Queensgate Market Hall, listed for its ornate roof design, is a huge indoor market, trading in clothes, food, electricals and more, with a cafe and hairdressers on site. There is also a thriving open market and specialist markets throughout the year despite the eponymous Tescos near by.