Dewsbury 'is worth every penny' of £50million investment

Town centres in North Kirklees are going to look and feel very different in the future, says a leading Dewsbury councillor.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 7:00 am
Dewsbury is set to receive £50m to transform the town centre, including the market and surrounding area

Dewsbury town centre is to undergo major change with a £50million regeneration under the Dewsbury Blueprint.

And Batley, Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton are also earmarked for improvement, sharing a £6million pot of regeneration cash.

Earlier this month Kirklees Council secured match-funding of £24.8 million for its Blueprint plans under the Government’s Towns Fund.

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The council had applied for £25million, so received almost everything it asked for.

The big projects include: a new Dewsbury Market (£6.6m); a new urban park on Longcauseway (£6.25m); and a Building Revival Scheme (£3.15m) to re-open empty buildings and improve shopfronts.

There will also be a two-way cycle track and footpath improvements.

Dewsbury East councillor and newly-appointed cabinet member for town centres, Coun Eric Firth, said: “Town centres are going to look and feel different in the future.

“These plans will create a place where people want to spend time. It’s a plan that respects our proud heritage while having a firm eye on the future.

“Economic changes are happening across the country but we need to work quickly and be ambitious to make a reality of the vision.

“There’s a real sense of urgency about our work in town centres as we look to recover from the pandemic and support businesses and communities to thrive.

“That’s why we’re investing in towns across Kirklees where we can speed up recovery and unlock potential.”

Paul Ellis, president of Dewsbury Chamber of Trade, has also welcomed approval of the Blueprint funding and praised the joined-up working.

“This is excellent news for the town and all Dewsbury residents,” he said.

“Kirklees Council officers worked hard and put a very strong submission forward which shows in the near full amount awarded.

“Many people have been involved, and still are, with the town’s Blueprint. Kirklees, the Dewsbury Town Board, the MP Mark Eastwood, Dewsbury councillors, Dewsbury Forward and the Chamber of Trade.

“Working in unity together, we have all won this funding.

“The Government must know, by the amount awarded, that our proud town is worth every penny of the investment.

“However, let’s not forget that the hard work has only just begun.”