£60k to declutter town centre

CLEAR OUT The proposals will give Market Place a cleaner look
CLEAR OUT The proposals will give Market Place a cleaner look

A £60,000 project aims to declutter Dewsbury town centre and make more space for events.

Market Place and the square in front of the town hall have too much street furniture, shelters, bollards and planting areas, according to a Kirklees Council report, making the area look cluttered and harder to use.

The initiative has been championed by Dewsbury Regeneration Board, Dewsbury Town Team and town centre retailers. Regeneration Board chairman Coun Paul Kane said: “Every time we have an event of the sort of magnitude of Spirit or the Christmas lights switch on, we find we are a little bit hamstrung for space.”

Coun Kane said he hoped the space would be used by community. He added: “This is one of the busiest areas of the town centre but also one of the safest. There will be more space for younger people and groups to use it.

“We’d also have the ideal location for a big screen.”

According to a council report, the project has been in the pipeline for “some time”. Previous proposals were drawn up for the complete re-paving and refurbishment of Market Place and Town Hall Square, but the new proposals are more modest. One of the shelters, benches and planted areas and trees nearest to Northgate will be removed. Lamp posts will remain and a new line of trees will be planted. The telephone boxes will remain.

Benches outside the former Val’s Cafe will be moved to sit in between the new line of trees. Lamp posts will also remain in Town Hall Square, but the benches and trees will be removed, leaving a clear view of the town hall from Market Place. The stone sculpture will remain for now, but will be moved at a later date.

Any street furniture that is removed will be used elsewhere, such as in nearby parks.

It is hoped the work will be complete before this year’s Tour de France themed Spirit event on April 12. The anticipated start date is early March.

The report is subject to approval by cabinet on Thursday.