Have your say on £15m plans for Dewsbury Market

People in Dewsbury will be asked for their views on a massive £15m revamp of the town’s market that will see it halved in size, with traders temporarily relocated on surrounding streets.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:19 pm
An artist's impression of plans for the new Dewsbury Market

Council chiefs want to improve Dewsbury’s market offer by cutting the number of stalls from 400 to approximately 200, emphasising food and drink and introducing a food court. All of the open market stalls on Cloth Hall Street will be cleared and new stalls and layout created.

That means relocating – or “decanting” – traders “on street” within the town centre to Foundry Street (between Corporation Street and Market Place), Market Place, the western footpath of Longcauseway (in front of the Prince of Wales precinct) and the forecourt of the town hall.

As the number and size of traders outweighs the space available on surrounding streets, some traders may be placed in vacant shops. Moving stallholders will cost £2.3m.

Architects BDP have been working with Kirklees Council, key market representatives and market traders to create a design for the market on Cloth Hall Street in the town centre.

Plans for how the new market will look have been unveiled by Kirklees Council, with designs drawn up by London-based architects BDP, who are also working on the Arcade project.

Both the market and the arcade form part of the so-called Dewsbury Blueprint.

The council said the design aims to create “a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive space where people can expect value for money and the best possible shopping experience.”

The design is said to build on earlier feasibility studies and public feedback on initial ideas.

The council is now asking the public to have their say on the design, either via an online survey or at an in-person consultation session

Engagement closes on July 4, at which point the council will review responses and adapt the plans “where practical”.

The council said: “As well as food outlets, cafés and beverage stalls, the redeveloped market will feature a flexible seating area and events space which can be used for meeting, eating, drinking and entertainment.

“This social space will help to encourage people into the market and to spend both time and money there, which will help local traders and the wider town to flourish.”

A period of engagement has now started, which will allow local people to have their say on the proposals either online or in person.

Members of the project team and architects will be on-site at the market for four-hour sessions over the next week-and-a-half on the following dates:

Wednesday, June 23 - 10am to 2pm

Saturday, June 26 - 10am to 2pm

Wednesday, June 30 - 10am to 2pm

Councillor Eric Firth, cabinet member for town centres, said: “Dewsbury Market has been the economic heart of the town centre for centuries and we want to see it remain that way. Which is why we’re investing a significant amount of money to redevelop the market under our ambitious Dewsbury Blueprint plans.

"There is £8.3m for both the market redevelopment and to allow Dewsbury market traders to move to a temporary on-street market. There is also a further £6.6m, granted earlier this month, as part of wider Dewsbury Town Improvement Plan through the Government’s Towns Fund.

“I’m excited to see the future design which will bring a new lease of life to Dewsbury’s famous market for our residents, visitors and traders.

"The vibrant social spaces it creates will encourage people to work, shop, rest, eat, drink and play, helping local traders, businesses and the town centre to thrive.

“Have a look at the design and make sure you have your say before the closing date. Your feedback will help us to ensure the market space meets future community needs."

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Stephen Marshall, BDP project director, added: “We have spent the first half of 2021 developing the proposals for the market, building on the great work contained within the Dewsbury Blueprint.

"BDP’s architects, engineers, landscape architects and planners have enjoyed working with the team from Kirklees Council through numerous workshops and we’re now really keen to receive feedback from the residents of Dewsbury before we press on with the next stages in the design process.

"We do appreciate how significant this project is for Dewsbury, which has had a market in the town centre since the middle ages. The feedback we have had to date has all been very positive, but it is important that everyone has an opportunity to have their say.”

The temporary market will become a talking point for the town as it will act as a canvas for a group of artists due to be commissioned as part of the Dewsbury Creative Town arts programme.

Engagement closes on July 4, at which point the council will review responses and adapt the plans where practical.

To see the designs, and to give feedback online, go to www.kirklees.gov.uk/dewsburymarketsurvey