The Heritage Fund has initially approved £106,657 in development work over the next four months. This is the first stage of the application which is part of a bid of £3.7m towards the overall project costs of £7m.
Securing this money will enable the council to progress development work leading up to the submission of the second round application in November this year, which will seek final approval of this significant grant.
The project, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, aims to aid the repair and refurbishment of The Arcade while preserving its heritage.
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This first round application replaces an earlier one submitted in November 2021 and includes an enhanced level of funding for community engagement activity as well as preparatory work, which will support the submission of the second round bid.
The Grade II listed Arcade was built in 1899 and was a popular town centre thoroughfare right through to 2016.
Located within the Dewsbury Town Centre Conservation Area, the building’s condition has been gradually deteriorating over the last ten years. Most of the units became vacant and the thoroughfare closed to the public five years ago.
The Arcade project is one of the key schemes of the Dewsbury Blueprint. Following the purchase by the council of the prominent listed building 18-20 Corporation Street/17 Foundry Street, The Arcade project has been extended to include this property.
Coun Eric Firth, cabinet member for town centres, said: “This is excellent news for Dewsbury town centre and the conservation of the Grade II listed Arcade.
"It shows what can be done with cross-party working as the council continue to be inclusive, as well as working with valued community groups such as the Arcade Group.
"I am especially grateful to the project team who turned our submission into ‘bid speak’ and look forward to working with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and others as the work progresses.”
Based on a successful second round submission in November 2022 the council will learn of the decision in March 2023 and, if successful, it means that construction work could start in summer 2023 with completion in 2024.