£2 million for next stage of Dewsbury’s regeneration plans
Councillors agreed a revised plan for the Dewsbury Heritage Action Zone on 21 August 2018.
What is the Heritage Action Zone?
Historic England announced that Dewsbury would have a Heritage Action Zone last year. This means that there will be a programme of work to bring heritage buildings within the town back into use. The decision came with a grant of £550,000. We have now also committed £2 million from the capital plan to support the Heritage Action Zone project.
How will the money be spent?
We will use the money to secure the future of key buildings in the town centre. Cabinet members approved the creation of a package of grants, loans and rental guarantees and other bespoke support for building owners and developers. Officers believe that a flexible offer based around each specific property will offer the best value for money. It will also make it easier for us to manage risk.
Where necessary the councillors agreed that it was appropriate to buy buildings either through negotiation or as a last resort by using their compulsory purchase powers.
Where is the zone?
The majority of the buildings that we want to see restored are in the Daisy Hill area of town. We have identified this as the main Heritage Action Zone and are already talking to building owners.
However, we recognise that there are other buildings and public spaces within the town centre that need improving. Improving them will encourage further private sector investment and support their living town concept.
The living town concept is all about bringing housing into the town centre. And, taking advantage of the fantastic transport links to nearby cities. As well as providing an appropriate leisure and commercial offer for those living in and visiting the town.
What happens next?
Officers will now begin work on the various projects that will run until the HAZ programme ends in 2023.
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Economy said:
“The council is committed to making sure we regenerate Dewsbury’s historic buildings in a way that will sustain them for years to come. The way we use town centres has changed over the years and our challenge is to take our heritage and sensitively restore it for a modern audience.
By taking an unused building and making it work in a different way, such as turning it into residential accommodation we can make the most of the town’s architecture and bring life back into the centre. The success of the scheme will depend on involving local people and making sure that we are working in a way that they can see benefits them and the local area.”