£24.8m boost for regeneration of Dewsbury town centre
Dewsbury’s "Blueprint" regeneration has been given a shot in the arm with the announcement of almost £25 million from the Government.
Nine projects – including Dewsbury Market, The Arcade and improvement works on Daisy Hill – have been given cash under the Government’s Towns Fund.
Kirklees Council submitted the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan in January with the aim of helping to kick-start nine projects to improve the local economy and the environment.
The council has set up the Dewsbury Town Board to oversee a scheme it says will transform the town centre.
Projects to be funded include: a revamp of Dewsbury Market (£6.6m); the restoration of The Arcade (£1.31m); Daisy Hill homes plan (£3m); a Creative Culture Programme (£2.19m); a new town park and sustainable transport (£2m).
The bid will also mean investment in jobs and skills for local people and as well as bringing Dewsbury’s historic buildings and creative scene to life.
Council leader Coun Shabir Pandor said: “This announcement is a big deal for Dewsbury. I’m delighted that the Government has agreed to match our ambition for improving the local economy and environment for residents, businesses and visitors across the town.
“This bid was submitted as part of a competitive process and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to demonstrate what we can achieve for Dewsbury.
“We’ve talked to local people and businesses about the improvements they want to see in Dewsbury and we will continue to work together to bring the plan to life.
"There’s a lot of work to do but this is a real vote of confidence for everyone who believes we can unlock Dewsbury’s economic potential and improve the lives and prospects of everyone who lives there.”
The funding was hailed as a “big step forward” by Dewsbury Tory MP Mark Eastwood, who said: “As many people know, one of my key priorities has been working on a long-term plan to revive Dewsbury town centre and bring empty shops back into use so our high streets are places we can all enjoy.
“As part of that drive, I have been working to secure up to £25 million in Government funding to revitalise Dewsbury.
“The Dewsbury Town Board, which includes myself and representatives from the local community and businesses, have worked hard with Kirklees Council to help deliver the Town Investment Plan for Dewsbury, following a public consultation.
“These projects will improve lives for local people and support Dewsbury businesses to prosper for years to come. The plan will also put Dewsbury on the map as a place to invest.
"I’m grateful to all the businesses and residents in Dewsbury who played a part in getting the bid over the line.”
Rob Norreys, chairman of Dewsbury Town Board, said: “The funding will help us speed up our plans to transform Dewsbury for businesses and residents.
“This bid shows what you can achieve when you work in partnership and that’s the spirit we will take forwards as we deliver the plan.”