'Tremendous news for the future of Dewsbury': Kirklees Council leader welcomes £20million funding boost for the town
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Dewsbury is one of many towns up and down the country to receive funding, which aims to give local authorities “long term certainty to deliver projects over the next ten years”, and “the flexibility to invest in interventions based on needs and priorities unique to the local area”, a spokesperson said.
The money builds on the existing Towns Fund, a £3.6billion Government initiative to help address towns’ growth constraints, deliver economic benefits and improve the lives of people within local communities.
The Government allocated £25million of Towns Fund money to Dewsbury in 2021.
This funding, which nearly doubles that initial investment, will be allocated by Kirklees Council and the Dewsbury Town Deal Board in partnership to support development projects in Dewsbury town centre, building on the existing Dewsbury Blueprint – the council’s ambitious plans for the future of the town.
While several aspects of the blueprint are already seeing work on the ground, others currently remain in the planning stages as Kirklees Council works to deliver the “best possible value” on large scale projects.
Coun Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “This funding is tremendous news for the future of Dewsbury.
"Our blueprint plans perfectly align with the Government’s intentions for the funding, which are to improve and future-proof local areas by approaching development opportunities from every possible angle.
“We’re just a short time after receiving the news, so exactly how this funding will contribute to our plans for Dewsbury is yet to be decided.
"But we’ll be working closely with the Dewsbury Town Deal Board and with the Government to make sure that this money brings the best possible value to the town.
“We’ve been working tirelessly in recent years to make sure the Dewsbury Blueprint will live up to our high aspirations for the town centre, and with current financial constraints – not just for our council but nationally – it’s more important than ever that we do our due diligence when putting this funding to good use, and that we continue to really focus on what will bring the greatest benefit to local people.
“As a resident of Dewsbury myself, I know it has huge potential as a prosperous and vibrant town, where people love to live, work and visit.
"This funding will hugely help us on our way to realising that potential.”
Keith Ramsay, chairman of Dewsbury Town Deal Board, said: “We’re really excited to hear that the Government are almost doubling their investment in Dewsbury.
"This will potentially allow us, as a board, to implement more of our fantastic ideas for the town’s improvement.
"It could also allow us to better sustain more of our existing plans, which is absolutely crucial – because throughout this work we’re focusing on the future of the town and those who’ll enjoy it for many, many years to come.
“The board will meet in the coming weeks to start discussing how this funding will be allocated.
"We couldn’t be more delighted, and I know this will help us realise our vision for the town we all love so much.”
The MP for Dewsbury, Mark Eastwood, said: “This is fantastic news for Dewsbury, and I’m delighted that I have been able to secure even more Government support for our town. With the previous £24 million, this amounts to £44 million in total so far to reinvigorate Dewsbury Town Centre.
“Funding is vital to fix the issues that we can all see around the centre of town, and I’m pleased that the Government has agreed with the case that I’ve been making for investing in our area.
“This is Levelling Up in action, and I’ll be working closely with the Town Board to ensure that the money is well spent on local people’s priorities and projects that will have a real impact.”