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Kirklees Council Provides Loan to Fund Student Project

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Kirklees Council is looking to make money on a loan being offered to developers to turn the former Co-op store in Huddersfield into student flats.

Council planning officers have agreed to the refurbishment of the site with developer SKA Developments.

Commenting on the deal, Councillor Peter McBridge, who supported the project, said the financial risk to the council will be "minimal".

Three additional floors will be added to the site, which will be transformed into accommodation for up to 134 students.

The project will benefit from a loan from the council's Property Investment Fund, which represents a £25m pot of cash earmarked for regeneration projects.

Although the details of the loan haven't been made public, it's estimated to be in the single millions.

The building has fallen into disrepair since it closed its doors in 2004.

Zeb Pervaiz, SKA Developments' director, praised the council for supporting the project, which has taken more than six years to come to fruition.

Karl Battersby, the council's strategic director added: "There is no specific figure agreed at this point, however the final amount agreed as a loan would be at a rate of interest allowing the council to generate a small amount of income."

"We are confident that by making a sum available to SKA to remove the initial development risk, a significant landmark building will be brought back into use, enhancing the town centre, at no cost to the local authority."