Major investment is planned for Dewsbury Town Centre following the launch of a Blueprint for the town, which could see up to £200m invested into revitalising the area.
The Dewsbury Blueprint sets out our ten-year, £200 million vision to create a family-friendly, active, and accessible and attractive town centre.
Shopping is to be reinforced in the town. With the market one of Dewsbury’s most distinctive elements, Kirklees Council is looking to bring it back to life. There will be more places to eat and socialise and opportunities for live music, theatre, and art.
The council also intends to reopen the Arcade, which connects Market Place to Corporation Street to attract and retain a mix of retail, leisure and community facilities.
Developing accommodation for business use is a significant part of the scheme with plans to improve Empire House, offer more small units for creative businesses and a proposal for a brand new office complex located on the underused Cliffe Street Car Park. The council has also committed to relocating 750 of its own employees into the town, which will be a further boost to the local economy.
There are also plans for three new green areas; a town park on Long Causeway, and pocket parks on the current 23 Northgate site and behind the market.
Meanwhile development of Daisy Hill into a high-quality residential area is expected to attract professionals with disposable incomes and travel will improve with a new bus station, better pedestrian and cycle routes and improvements to the ring road.
The blueprint builds on the 2018 Strategic development framework for Dewsbury, which has three aims; to make Dewsbury more active, attractive and accessible.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council said: “We are incredibly excited to be announcing another ambitious transformational plan, this time for Dewsbury. The recent recession and national measures of austerity meant our earlier plans to regenerate this once great town were put on hold.
“Despite this we have improved and protected heritage buildings through the Townscape Heritage Initiative and made sure that people visiting by train had a positive impression of the town as a safe place for pedestrians and cyclist through improvements to the train station gateway.
“As the Dewsbury blueprint shows our ambitions have grown, and the speed of delivery is accelerating. You will see some of these key projects in Dewsbury begin very soon. With consultations on the market improvements and Town Park starting later this year. Planning has been granted for the development of Field House into apartments, and a café and restaurant directly opposite the station. And, we are making progress on many of the other projects included in this exciting plan.
“We acknowledge that for the Dewsbury blueprint to be a success people living in, and visiting the town need to feel safe to come together as a family to enjoy the open spaces, shops and leisure opportunities during the day and into the evening. Which is why we’ve secured funding for a multi-agency community safety and policing team specifically for the town centre.
“The investment does not stop there, our budget proposal will also pave the way to beginning to invest in our towns and villages and we will be putting millions into our budget to kickstart the renewal of our towns and villages.”
Cllr Peter McBride, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Dewsbury is a proud town, built on a rich textile heritage that attracted workers from across the world. It is wonderfully diverse and full of character – and deserves a blueprint that reflects that.
“However, with more people shopping online the way we use town centres is changing, and our towns need to adapt to this. By increasing the number of people living and working in our towns, we increase the number of people who might visit local shops and facilities. And, by making our town family-friendly and encouraging leisure and culture activities we can draw in people from further afield and in turn encourage new businesses to open.
“By 2030, Dewsbury will have benefitted from around £200m of investment. In addition to our own funding, we’re looking to secure investment from the private sector, government and the combined authority to achieve great things for Dewsbury Town Centre. We will work with our partners to make sure any funding for Dewsbury is spent with the blueprint in mind. This will allow us to capitalise on the resources we have for the benefit of all town centre users.”