Dewsbury in 2022: 'Work on The Arcade will be the catalyst for change'

As the new year begins, the Reporter Series has asked key figures to share their hopes for Dewsbury in 2022.

Saturday, 1st January 2022, 7:00 am
Coun Eric Firth

We continue our special series of articles with Coun Eric Firth, Kirklees Council's cabinet member for town centres and a Dewsbury East councillor, who outlines his vision for the town over the next 12 months.

He said: "I had hoped at the beginning of 2021 that we would begin to see the back of this virus, but sadly that’s not the case.

"So many throughout the country are still catching the new strain, some are very ill, some are not. It doesn’t discriminate, young and old, fit or unfit, it can make you desperately ill and even kill you, so we do have to take precautions.

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"I, like many of your readers, have lost relatives and friends. Let’s hope this present mutation is the last and going into 2022 we will have seen the last of it.

"Going forward into the New Year and beyond the future is looking bright for our town. There is so much happening and so much planned.

"You will doubtless have seen what we have done with railway station, it’s brilliant even if I have to say it myself.

"Late spring/early summer the plans for the new market will click in and the units which will house the traders will start to be moved into the town centre.

"When that is done, work can start on the market itself. I have seen the plans and the “New Market" will be splendiferous.

"Work will begin on what will be to all intent and purposes our new bus station, which again will be magnificent and be state of the art, welcoming and safe as well as housing a changing places room for people with disabilities.

"We have, as you know, recently opened the new Dewsbury College which, despite these difficult times, is proving a real success.

"Work on The Arcade, the jewel in the crown, will begin this year and as I will keep on saying it will be the catalyst for change, which again will be magnificent.

"Run by local people, in many ways a modern co-operative, it will I think bring in new people and new investors that will play a major part in the regeneration of Dewsbury.

"You will also have read in the Reporter the projects that the Town Board are working on in conjunction of course with the council, one of which is the Town Park, which when completed will I trust make our town a really attractive place to visit and spend time in.

"There are many more projects that will be delivered in the next year or two, which will be brilliant.

"As you will have gathered, I am more than enthusiastic regarding regeneration in our town.

"Dewsbury has for the last few years years been at a low ebb, but thanks to the Labour administration we are more than confident that Dewsbury, our town, has a bright future and that’s why we are investing in it.

"We can’t do it alone. We have consulted with yourselves and the feedback, the support has been overwhelming. Gone are the days of doing to, now we do with.

"So going forward I do wish you, one and all a happy, healthy and a prosperous New Year."