Council agrees further funding for Dewsbury’s regeneration strategy
Plans to make Dewsbury a thriving town, tapping into the potential of its people, and maximising its role as a key transport and economic location through the North Kirklees Growth Zone initiative are making real progress.
What investment is coming to Dewsbury?
At our most recent cabinet meeting, we have agreed to invest a further 2.29 Million in the town centre.
We have allocated £2m to complement the recently awarded Heritage Action Zone grant, which will help with the creation of a living town concentrating on the Daisy Hill area.
We’ve also allocated a further £290K to make the area outside the iconic Pioneer House more attractive and safer for pedestrians.
In addition to agreeing extra funding, councillors heard how officers in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region had submitted a joint bid of £22.5m to government to support housing infrastructure in the region – concentrating on Dewsbury Riverside. The government has recently announced that this is one of 44 projects being progressed to the next stage of consideration.
Dewsbury Riverside currently has outline planning permission on two sites to deliver around 240 new homes, with resources of £224K coming from the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) to help work up the scheme.
What is planned for the future investment in Dewsbury?
At the meeting councillors agreed that officers could look to develop a commercial partnership with major property developers Miller Homes, who already have an interest in land in the area and permission for developments under existing planning laws. The land controlled by Miller Homes would provide access to further proposed housing on currently council owned land so a commercial arrangement between Miller Homes and the Council could be beneficial to both. No agreement will be finalised until a further specialist report on the impact has been approved.
The Dewsbury Riverside area will, subject to local plan approval, result in much needed housing for the area. The development of over 1000 homes would be supported by a community hub with a wide range of new local facilities, including provision of a replacement faith/community building, health centre, nursery, retail, potential extra care facility and provision of land for a new primary school. The council is already talking about how this could work with local stakeholders with the aim that the final plan meets the current and future needs of local people.
All this adds to the great work that has already begun in the town:
A previously agreed nearly £1 million investment in the railway station gateway, which aims to make the entrance to the station into the town more welcoming; and an additional 234K secured to look at long term strategic highways planning.
Dewsbury Learning Quarter’s state of the art Springfield Sixth Form Centre that is due to open in September 2018, and the ongoing work on the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) aimed at giving historic buildings within the town centre conservation area a sustainable economic future.
Not to forget work on the Dewsbury Big Markets project; where consultants ‘Market Place Europe’ have been appointed to support the development of the market and town centre vision and come up with a short, medium and long-term transformation plan for Dewsbury Market.
Cllr David Sheard, Leader of the Council said: “There is a great deal going on in and around Dewsbury, and whilst many things are still at the planning stage, I hope it is clear to local people that our ongoing investment in Dewsbury means that the council is committed to the regeneration of the town.
Officers are working hard to ensure the North Kirklees Growth Zone project continues to gain momentum and that we raise the areas profile so that we can attract external investment and instill a sense of pride in this historic town.”