The Black Bull reopens – cheers to that

A much-loved Dewsbury Town Centre pub has been brought back to life thanks to partnership working.

The Black Bull has been given a new lease of life thanks to Kirklees Council, the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and Mood Developments.

When did the doors open?

The first pint was pulled at a launch event on 24 October, with Mayor of Kirklees Mumtaz Husain there to cut the ribbon. Doors officially opened to the public on 25 October.

What’s happening with the pub?

Mood Developments – a company who specialise in the refurbishment of heritage pubs – purchased the listed former Black Bull pub in 2017. Located in the historic market place of Dewsbury, the company have given it a new lease of life. The pub which had been vacant for some time has now been given a contemporary feel; whilst still preserving its heritage features. The scheme has been overseen by Conservation Architects, Arctic, and undertaken by Kirklees based contractors, Roebuck & Holmes.

Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:

“I’m delighted with the work that Mood Developments have undertaken. The Black Bull has undergone a huge refurbishment including the opening of a first floor function room.

It’s a really positive change for Dewsbury. The Townscape Heritage Initiative aims to create a smart and welcoming environment by improving and enhancing the quality of Dewsbury’s heritage buildings.”

Is there any more work going on?

The renovations have been undertaken as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative, a jointly funded regeneration programme which commenced in 2013 between Kirklees Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with an investment totalling £3.7 million.

David Renwick, Director, England: North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Communities are at the heart of many of the projects we fund, and we’re delighted to see life injected back into The Black Bull, that will undoubtedly become an exciting hub and a valued asset for the people of Dewsbury.

We are incredibly proud to invest in the regeneration of our historic high streets, and with the large investment recently announced by the Government, The Black Bull and the wider Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative are a leading light in showcasing the benefits these programmes have on communities across the UK.”

How many renovations has the programme contributed to?

The programme has contributed to the renovation of 9 properties in total, including Pioneer House and 9 Market Place (former Bailey’s café), which neighbours the Black Bull.

Owners, Mood Developments said:

“We are lucky to have had the opportunity to redevelop this beautiful old site set in the context of the Market Place at the centre of this historic town.

Mood believes that pubs are a crucial part of any community and we think that if an agreeable space is created community activities are stimulated and things start to grow.  We have striven to make a modular space which can be used for meetings, sport, live music and food. It has been a challenge but we think the final result is a great success and hope the residents of Dewsbury will enjoy it.”

Who will be running the pub?

The former pub has had numerous owners over the years and was barely operating, before its closure.

Inglenook Inns and Taverns, a successful pub operator, will be taking on the lease and will bring a completely fresh, new operation to the pub with the community at its heart.

James Waddington, Managing Director of Inglenook Inns & Taverns, said:

“We are proud and excited to be associated with the Black Bull in Dewsbury – our aim is to ‘put the hub back into the pub’ – and make it accessible to all. We try to ensure our pubs are a pivotal part of the community and the Black Bull will most definitely be back in its rightful place as a vibrant and central part of Dewsbury.”

Getting involved with the local community

The new pub is already committed to a Rugby League memorabilia corner and hosting regular meetings for the local dementia support group ‘Dewsbury Memories’ which uses Rugby League as its focus. It has also taken on one of the Market Place Gazebos for outdoor seating and is looking forward to bringing a quality offer to the town.



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