Renaissance for urban areas in Yorkshire & Humber

The Renaissance towns and cities Programme was launched in 2001 to ensure that our region’s urban areas are places where people want to live, work and invest. Working with communities, partners and stakeholders, we are helping to achieve this goal by ensuring that towns and cities are strong and competitive, through the advantages of good design and management, good connections and high levels of accessibility.

What’s the programme about?

Renaissance is about the creation and sustaining of 'great places'. At its core is the involvement of local people, councils and other stakeholders in helping to determine and deliver change. There is a focus on ensuring that an appropriate local strategic response is developed, and that we harness the power of high-quality design, buildings and public space, within our town centres.The extent and nature of the decline witnessed in many of our urban areas means that a substantial response is required. The programme provides the means to make effective and sustainable improvements to our urban centres, allowing innovation and best practice to be transferred between our towns and cities.  

What is Yorkshire Forward’s involvement?

Yorkshire Forward has instigated the regional Renaissance programme. This, and the methodology which accompanies it, provide a logical 10-stage process for developing and delivering sustainable renaissance in towns and cities across our region.

We provide financial and practical support throughout the process, helping to develop a shared vison and strategic framework for each urban area. The 'town teams', made up of local people and other stakeholders, are key to this process. The subsequent strategic development framework then forms the basis for interventions within that area.

What does the programme mean in practice?

In practice this means that we now have:
  • 'Town teams' in most of our Renaissance towns.
  • Ambitious strategies detailing 25-year visions for each of our areas.
  • Plans for radical overhauls to town centres such as Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.
  • Over 100 projects which are either complete or under way – including impressive public spaces in Grimsby, Castleford and Scarborough; new business premises in Halifax, Scarborough and Barnsley; and exciting mixed-use waterfront developments in Doncaster, Wakefield and Huddersfield.    

In addition to the physical changes in our towns, we also want to raise ambitions and aspiration - transforming the way our towns are perceived by residents, visitors and investors.

Who’s involved?

The Renaissance process seeks to involve as wider group of participants as possible. This includes:
  • Town teams
  • Local people and communities
  • Local councils
  • Local businesses
  • Volunatary and community groups.
There is also professional support provided by:
  • Architects and landscape architects
  • Masterplanners
  • Urbanists
  • Developers
  • Providers of skills and training.

Which are the renaissance urban areas?

Renaissance towns
Area based Renaissance
  • Airedale
    • Shipley
    • Bingley
    • Keighley
  • Selby
    • Selby
    • Sherburn in Elmet
    • Tadcaster
  • North Kirklees
    • Dewsbury
    • Heckmondwike
    • Cleckheaton
    • Batley
  • The 5 towns
    • Castleford
    • Normanton
    • Pontefract
    • Knottingley
    • Featherstone
Renaissance cities

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