Dewsbury-born Anthony Gormley to lend sculpture to town as part of multi-million regeneration project

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Angel of the North sculptor Anthony Gormley is lending a piece to sit atop a building in his Yorkshire birth town.

The sculpture will be just one of the new developments in Dewsbury town centre under a multi-million pound regeneration project announced by Kirklees Council on Thursday.

The West Yorkshire market town is one of many in the region to suffer at the hands of the declining high street over recent years, with a blueprint unveiled which could involve up to £200m invested into breathing new life into the centre over the next decade.

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New buildings, green spaces and money spent on the town centre's arcade are all part of of the ambitious plans hoped to be completed by 2030.

Dewsbury-born Anthony Gormley has lent Kirklees College one of his sculptures, which will sit atop to roof of its new Pioneer Campus.

Other features of the brochure include the development of one of its cobbled streets, Daisy Hill, into a high-quality residential area for professionals, while money will be spent improving infrastructure through a new bus station, better pedestrian and cycle routes and improvements to the ring road.

A cultural boost will also be provided, not just from the Gormley sculpture, but with art installations built into the town's fabric on buildings, in footpaths and part of lighting and seating in newly-created public spaces.

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Leader of Kirklees Council Shabir Pandor said: "The recent recession and national measures of austerity meant our earlier plans to regenerate this once great town were put on hold.

“As the Dewsbury blueprint shows, our ambitions have grown and the speed of delivery is accelerating. You will see some of these key projects in Dewsbury begin very soon with consultations on the market improvements and Town Park starting later this year.

"Planning has been granted for the development of Field House into apartments, and a café and restaurant directly opposite the station, and we are making progress on many of the other projects included in this exciting plan

“We acknowledge that for the Dewsbury blueprint to be a success people living in, and visiting the town need to feel safe to come together as a family to enjoy the open spaces, shops and leisure opportunities during the day and into the evening.

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"Which is why we’ve secured funding for a multi-agency community safety and policing team specifically for the town centre."

Coun Peter McBride, Kirklees' Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Dewsbury is a proud town, built on a rich textile heritage that attracted workers from across the world, it is wonderfully diverse and full of character and deserves a blueprint that reflects that.

“However, with more people shopping online the way we use town centres is changing, and our towns need to adapt to this

By increasing the number of people living and working in our towns, we increase the number of people who might visit local shops and facilities. By making our town family-friendly and encouraging leisure and culture activities we can draw in people from further afield and in turn encourage new businesses to open."