Shipping containers to house Dewsbury Market traders sit unused in town car park

Steel shipping containers worth almost £1million are sitting in a Dewsbury car park ready to be used as part of the anticipated revamp of the town’s market.

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 12:30 pm

The containers were bought by Kirklees Council as temporary replacement stalls for traders set to be moved out of the market as it undergoes a massive £15m facelift. Moving stallholders was estimated to cost £2.3m.

The council is re-evaluating the market project due to escalating construction costs and is to review its initial proposals, which involved the clearance of the entire site at Cloth Hall Street and the “decanting” of stallholders for around 17 months.

The town’s MP, Mark Eastwood, has urged the authority to “take another look” at what can be achieved with the scheme before going back to the drawing board.

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Shipping containers that cost £800,000 sitting in a Dewsbury car park

However, he says the use of the 53 shipping containers, which were bought at a cost of £800,000, is “a given”. They are currently located at the Cliffe Street car park.

Referring to the siting of containers on town centre streets, including on Foundry Street (between Corporation Street and Market Place), Market Place, the western footpath of Longcauseway (in front of the Princess of Wales Precinct) and the forecourt of the town hall, Mr Eastwood said: “I don’t have a problem with that.”

However, one Dewsbury councillor, Aleks Lukic (Ind, Dewsbury East) raised concerns about the cost and said they could make the town centre “feel like a dockyard”.

Re-imagining the market offer involves cutting the number of stalls from 400 to approximately 200, emphasising food and drink and introducing a food court.

But the council has advised that reviewing the scheme – one of the centrepieces of the Dewsbury Blueprint – may result in a new planning application being put forward for the market’s development, which indicates existing plans are to be ditched.

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