Dewsbury Blueprint timetable: here's what's happening - and when
Kirklees Council has pledged to step up the pace for the regeneration of Dewsbury town centre and has published a series of target dates for new developments.
Last month the council secured £24.8million in match funding from the Government’s Towns Fund, meaning its £50million Dewsbury Blueprint could go ahead.
The Blueprint will be overseen by the Dewsbury Town Deal Board, which this week appointed a new chairman, experienced businessman Keith Ramsay, who is also chairman of the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The council has nine key projects as part of the Blueprint – including the new Dewsbury Market, restoration of The Arcade and a new Town Park in Longcauseway.
But there are other major schemes from private and public sector bodies.
These include a new Dewsbury Bus Station and the conversion of the empty former office building Field House – opposite Dewsbury Railway Station - into 23 upmarket apartments.
A progress report will be presented to the council’s economy and neighbourhood scrutiny panel on Tuesday.
Cabinet member for town centres and Dewsbury East councillor Eric Firth said he was keen for the pace to pick up and for plans to move forward quickly.
He added: “This is a very exciting time for Dewsbury. We have successfully delivered a number of key projects but our ambitions go a lot further, and rightly so.
“The intention is to honour the heritage of this beautiful town whilst making it attractive to the modern-day visitor, from young families to entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
"Our town centre will be welcoming, inclusive and accessible to all.
“I am in full support of the plans and look forward to seeing even more projects being delivered.”
The council has revealed a timetable for the Dewsbury Blueprint which includes the following.
Dewsbury Market: Designs drawn up this year ahead of a contract for construction going out to tender in early 2022; a 60-week build is planned between January 2022 and July 2023 with an opening of the new-look market in summer 2023.
Town Park: Cabinet approval is to be sought this summer with funding and planning taking place between November 2021 and March 2022 before land acquisition takes place over a year between April 2022 and April 2023. Construction would take place from late 2023 with an opening due in early 2025.
Dewsbury Bus Station: Public consultation is due to take place shortly with planning and the award of contracts set for early 2022 with construction work between October 2022 and January 2024 with an opening in early 2024.
The Arcade: Contractor tender for refurbishment is due October 2021 to December 2021 with work taking place throughout 2022 for an opening in early 2023.
On his appointment Mr Ramsay said: “I am very pleased and excited at the opportunity that this significant investment in Dewsbury will mean for the town, its residents and businesses. The board are very much focused on delivery of the plan.”
Council leader Shabir Pandor pledged to “put Dewsbury on the map” and help unlock the town’s economic potential.
But added: “There’s a lot of work to do to translate the funding into on-the-ground regeneration.”