Latest work to revive Dewsbury

WORK PLANNED The interior of Dewsbury Town Hall will be freshened up as part of a �250,000 investment in the landmark building.
WORK PLANNED The interior of Dewsbury Town Hall will be freshened up as part of a �250,000 investment in the landmark building.

Dewsbury still has challenges ahead but progress is being made thanks to efforts to breathe new life into the town, councillors were told.

Plans to invest in the town hall, the waterfront and extra free town centre parking were shared when Dewsbury Area Committee met on Tuesday.

Members also heard about progress with the renovation of Pioneer House, work to tackle eyesore buildings and several other schemes.

Dewsbury Regeneration Board chairman Coun Paul Kane said the focus in the past 12 months had been building links busineses, and making the townlook as attractive as possible for investors.

“We have no control over the shops or the people coming into the town,” he said.

“What we can try to do is make it more attractive.”

One such project aims to encourage the owners of grot-spot buildings on key routes to act.

It has led to the demolition of the derelict Old Anchor and Savile Hotel sites, while the owner of a partially-renovated mill in Wakefield Road is being taken to court soon.

Back in the town centre, work to weatherproof Grade II listed Pioneer House is due for completion later this month.

Pedestrian links between the retail park, sports centre and town centre were also improved as suggested in the Strategic Development Framework published in November 2010.

And £35,000 is to be spent on drop-off and pick-up points where parking will be free for up to 30 minutes.

Coun Kane (Lab, Dews East) said a funding bid was pending to improve the waterfront between Mill Street West and Sands Lane, but reviving the town’s nighttime economy would be the next big goal.

Coun Cathy Scott (Lab Dews, East) said commended the board and council officers. “What we’ve done tonight is stand back and take stock,” she said. “It’s shown us these milestones are being achieved.”