Following approval by Kirklees Council’s cabinet on the 19 January, an investment plan has been submitted by the Dewsbury Town Board demonstrating how their bid for £25M of funding from Government’s Towns Deal Fund would be spent.
The investment plan which has been submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government was developed following consultation with local people at end of 2020.
It proposes nine projects that the Dewsbury Town Board feels would best benefit from the funding and deliver on what is important to local people.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council said: “The council and the town board are working together to make our ambitions for Dewsbury come true. In February 2020 we set out a ten-year vision for the town, many of the schemes that the board has selected to support with this plan were included in that vision. With this funding from the government, and match funding from the council we could see many of our plans come to fruition and demonstrate that Dewsbury really is a town of distinction.”
Rob Norreys, of The University of Huddersfield and Chair of Dewsbury Town Board said: “This is an exciting time for the people of Dewsbury, with investment from the council, and the real chance of funding from the Towns Fund, there is a real opportunity to breathe new life into this proud town. The plan we have developed builds on the council’s blueprint for Dewsbury and takes forward the most popular ideas including a new town centre park, the regeneration of the arcade and the market, and the development of high quality residential accommodation. We want Dewsbury to not only serve existing community needs, but also to attract commuters from nearby cities by creating a family friendly place to live, work, shop and play.”
Mark Eastwood MP for Dewsbury said: “I welcome the Town Investment Plan and pay tribute to fellow members of the Dewsbury Town Board and Kirklees Council who have worked hard to develop such an excellent proposal. The plan’s projects will transform our historic market town, improve the quality of life for the people who live here, create new opportunities and drive footfall and investment into the town centre.”
Should the bid be successful, in order to make sure they can successfully complete the projects, the council and the Dewsbury Town Board will also seek £33.6M of match funding from a variety of sources including council capital, Arts Council grants, private sector contributions, and the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund and Getting Building Fund.
Once agreed the Dewsbury Town Board will enter into a Town Deal with government, before drawing up more detailed plans for the proposed schemes.
The full list of projects included in the Town Improvement Plan are:
£1.3M for the redevelopment of The Arcade as a multiuse space.
£6.6M for an improved market offer in the town.
£3.15M to build on the success of the Townscape Heritage Initiative with a new Building Revival Scheme.
£250,000 investment in digital connectivity for town centre properties.
£6.25M to create a town park and improve the public realm throughout the town.
£1.5M investment in construction skills for local people.
£2.195M investment in the Union Arts Centre and a programme of cultural activities as part of the town’s creative town ambitions.
£3m to develop a living town at Daisy Hill in Dewsbury, and finally £1.325M to improve the roads and make it safer and easier to travel by bike or on foot.
This latest funding opportunity will build on the council’s earlier investments of over £8M in the town, including the recent redevelopment of Pioneer House as the Pioneers Higher Skills Centre, and the purchase of The Arcade.