Millions earmarked for major Dewsbury regeneration project

Council chiefs are poised to bid for millions of pounds in Government funding - and it is earmarked for the ongoing regeneration of Dewsbury.
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If the bid - to be submitted by the end of the month - is successful around £25m will go towards nine projects in the so-called Dewsbury Blueprint.

The cash will be matched with a further £33.6m from Kirklees Council, the private sector and other government sources bumping up the total to nearly £60m.

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Among the projects that will benefit are Dewsbury Market and the town's Victorian arcade. The money will also deliver a new central park for the town.

How Dewsbury could look in the futureHow Dewsbury could look in the future
How Dewsbury could look in the future

The council bought the arcade, which connects Market Place to Corporation Street, last year for £900,000.

Work has already been completed on the refurbishment of Pioneer House, described as the "base" of the authority's regeneration ambitions for Dewsbury.

Outlining the plans, Clr Peter McBride (Lab, Dalton) called it "a huge programme".

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The bid was backed at a meeting of the council's decision-making Cabinet (Jan 19). It will now go to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for formal approval.

Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) said the creation of the bid represented good partnership working, vision and commitment.

"Day in and day out I hear from opposition members that there is no investment coming into Dewsbury. This is proof that there is vision and commitment."

Council Leader Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley West) said officers were working on a bid for another pot of government money that could benefit other towns in the borough such as Heckmondwike and Batley.

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He added: "I hope that very, very soon we will have some plans in terms of what our commitment will be to places like Batley to make sure that we do level up locally. That can only be done if we get central government support and funds."