Fresh hope for arcade

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The past three months have seen some signs of improvement in Dewsbury’s fortunes when it comes to attracting new retailers, a survey has found.

In the third of our shops occupancy surveys, we found levels had remained the same in seven areas and improved in two more.

The closure of two business which had been in the town for many years – Joe’s barber shop and Val’s Cafe – contributed to the falls in occupied units in Crackenedge Lane and Foundry Street respectively.

But the former Val’s site is due to be brought back into use by bookmakers Ladbrookes, which has planning permission for a new shopfront and signage.

Work is also underway at the former Lloyds Pharmacy in Corporation Street, which JBZ Properties is turning into a cafe or restaurant.

New signage for a body piercing studio has also gone up on the unit on the corner of Foundry Street and Corporation Street which housed a pop-up bar during this year’s Spirit celebrations.

Daisy Hill is the only other area to have seen shop occupancy fall over the past three months, although Dewsbury Arcade still has fewer than half its units let.

The other major change in the town centre since our last survey is in the ownership of the Princess of Wales Precinct.

As the Reporter exclusively revealed in September, the precinct was bought by privately owned property company Edinburgh House Estates Limited.

The company said it would be working to improve the mix of tenants and attract new retailers, although no new businesses have been signed up so far.