£58m plan to be considered to secure funding for Dewsbury regeneration

Kirklees’ Cabinet will consider a £58M investment plan that could secure funding to support their Dewsbury Blueprint Ambitions.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 9:06 pm
Updated Monday, 11th January 2021, 9:06 pm

At their Cabinet meeting on the January 19, councillors will consider a report on the proposed application for £25m funding from the Government’s Towns Deal Fund.

The Dewsbury Town Board and Kirklees Council have compiled a Town Investment Plan as part of their bid, following consultation with local people at end of 2020.

The investment plan proposes nine projects that the board feels would best benefit from the funding and deliver on what is important to local people.

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Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council and Interim Chair of Dewsbury Town Board said: “The council and the town board are working together to make our ambitions for Dewsbury come true.

"In February 2020 we set out a ten-year vision for the town, many of the schemes that the board has selected to support with this plan were included in that vision.

"With this funding from the government, and match funding from the council we could see many of our plans come to fruition and demonstrate that Dewsbury really is a town of distinction.

"With a new town centre park, the regeneration of the arcade and the market, and high quality residential accommodation attracting commuters from nearby cities, local people could see significant changes in the town over the coming years. Dewsbury is a proud town and it deserves to be brought back to life as a family friendly place to live, work, shop and play.”

Should the bid be successful, in order to make sure they can successfully complete the projects, the council will also be looking to allocate £33.6M of match funding from a variety of sources including council capital, Arts Council grants, private sector contributions, and the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund and Getting Building Fund.

If Cabinet approves the report, officers will finalise the Town Improvement Plan and submit it to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government by January 29 2021.

Once agreed Kirklees Council and the Town Board will enter into a Town Deal with government, before drawing up more detailed plans for the proposed schemes.

The full list of projects included in the Town Improvement Plan are:

£1.3M for the redevelopment of The Arcade as a multiuse space.

£6.6M for an improved market offer in the town.

£3.15M to build on the success of the Townscape Heritage Initiative with a new Building Revival Scheme.

£250,000 investment in digital connectivity for town centre properties.

6.25M to create a town park and improve the public realm throughout the town.

£1.5M investment in construction skills for local people.

£2.195M investment in the Union Arts Centre as part of the town’s creative town ambitions.

£3m to develop a living town at Daisy Hill in Dewsbury, and finally £2M to improve the roads and make it safer and easier to travel by bike or on foot.

This latest funding opportunity will build on the council’s earlier investments of over £8M in the town, including the recent redevelopment of Pioneer House as the Pioneers Higher skills Centre, and the purchase of The Arcade.