Some units will re-open for a while, until the centre is demolished as part of a redevelopment.
Units on Huddersfield’s doomed Piazza are set to re-open.
The site, currently scheduled for demolition as part of the so-called Huddersfield Blueprint, is winding down with many shops standing empty.
However some are set for a new lease of life, albeit temporarily.
The council-run arts website Creative Kirklees announced on social media: “As lockdown is beginning to ease the Piazza units are going to be reopening with a number of existing and new organisations and individuals!”
Kirklees Council said the decision on whether or not private businesses should re-open was down to the individual owners, and suggested they follow Government advice.
The authority announced last November that there was “little commercial demand” for space on the Piazza, which will be bulldozed as part of an ambitious £250m plan to re-imagine the heart of the town centre.
It was encouraged to offer short-term leases on vacant units by Clr Richard Eastwood of the Liberal Democrats.
The Labour-led council has sought to populate the area, albeit on a short-term basis, by signing agreements with a range of organisations including Huddersfield New College, Yorkshire Print Workshop and Dark Horse Theatre.
The agreements run for a maximum of three months.
Clr Peter McBride, the council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
“The decision whether shops can re-open is not being made by the council.
“Shops in the Piazza and across Kirklees should make decisions on whether to re-open based on the latest Government guidance and their personal circumstances.
“As long as they can safely meet the requirements around hygiene and social distancing the council would be delighted to see shops open.
“The Piazza Management Company and the Huddersfield BID are working closely with businesses to make sure they have access to the latest advice, and we will continue to support them in any way we can.”
The Piazza was built 50 years ago on the site of the 1880s Huddersfield Market Hall.
The area will become the new “Cultural Heart” of the town – a hub for culture, arts and leisure.
It forms the core of the Huddersfield Blueprint.
Council chiefs have expressed enthusiasm for getting work underway very quickly.
But the authority has not yet set a timescale for the demolition of the Piazza.