The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Huddersfield’s Grand Co-op desperate for protection and a new use

The Twentieth Century Society is concerned about the future of Huddersfield’s Co-op. The impressive 1930s building could be under immediate threat of insensitive alterations. The owners, Entrepreneurial Leisure Limited, intend to sell the currently vacant building. There is now an obvious risk of major alteration to the building which though it is in a Conservation Area is not listed and is therefore not fully protected.

The building was opened in 1936 and built to designs by architects W.A. Johnson and J.W. Cropper. It is an impressive example of modern architecture designed and built between the Wars. The building is faced in local stone and it shows influences of avant-garde European buildings of the time, namely those of Erich Mendelsohn and Dutch architecture of the era.

The building dominates its location, a prominent corner site in Huddersfield, and represents a successful and mature architectural focus for the area, similar to the equally well designed Co-op building in Bradford by the same architect, W.A. Johnson.

The exterior of the building is a very fine example of a 1930’s departmental store, which served a ‘modern’ function and where the new architecture of the time has been applied effectively. The Society believes that it deserves protection as one of the best inter-war buildings in Huddersfield. We believe it to be of equal quality to the recently listed Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery of 1937 (architect EH Ashburner).

For further information and images please contact: Cordula Zeidler, Caseworker, The Twentieth Century Society, tel: 020 7250 3857,