£20million boost for Dewsbury Blueprint
We had some fantastic news on Sunday, when the government announced a £20million boost for Dewsbury!
Where has the funding come from?
The funding is being allocated to Dewsbury as part of a new ‘Long-Term Plan’ by the government.
Dewsbury will be one of many towns up and down the UK to benefit. The funding boost is intended to give local authorities like us more certainty to deliver long-term projects over the next ten years. It’s also meant to help us make real change based on needs and priorities unique to us, our local area and communities.
This funding builds on the existing Towns Fund, a £3.6billion government initiative to help towns address issues that are blocking growth, boost the local economy, and improve the lives of local people. We received £25million of Towns Fund money in 2021, which we will be using to deliver the Dewsbury Blueprint over years to come.
What happens next?
Several of aspects of the Dewsbury Blueprint are already seeing work on the ground, while others are currently still in the planning stages because we’re working hard to deliver the best possible value on large-scale projects. This funding has the potential to make a huge difference.
We don’t know exactly where the funding will be spent yet. To allocate the money, we’ll be working in close partnership with the Dewsbury Town Deal Board, who were set up by the council around the time we received our initial funding for Dewsbury back in 2021.
As well as playing a big role in the planning of the blueprint, the board’s role is to bring a local perspective to the Dewsbury Blueprint – every member is either a resident, a business owner or a key public figure in the area. This all means they’re perfectly placed to represent the local community and help us make these really important decisions.
Councillor Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council, says:
“This funding is tremendous news for the future of Dewsbury. Our blueprint plans perfectly align with the government’s intentions for the funding, which are to improve and future-proof local areas by approaching development opportunities from every possible angle.
“We’re just a short time after receiving the news, so exactly how this funding will contribute to our plans for Dewsbury is yet to be decided. But we’ll be working closely with the Dewsbury Town Deal Board and with the government to make sure that this money brings the best possible value to the town.
“We’ve been working tirelessly in recent years to make sure the Dewsbury Blueprint will live up to our high aspirations for the town centre, and with current financial constraints – not just for our council but nationally – it’s more important than ever that we do our due diligence when putting this funding to good use, and that we continue to really focus on what will bring the greatest benefit to local people.
“As a resident of Dewsbury myself, I know it has huge potential as a prosperous and vibrant town, where people love to live, work and visit. This funding will hugely help us on our way to realising that potential.”
Keith Ramsay, Chair of the Dewsbury Town Deal Board, says:
“We’re really excited to hear that the government are almost doubling their investment in Dewsbury. This will potentially allow us, as a board, to implement more of our fantastic ideas for the town’s improvement. It could also allow us to better sustain more of our existing plans, which is absolutely crucial – because throughout this work we’re focusing on the future of the town and those who’ll enjoy it for many, many years to come.
“The board will meet in the coming weeks to start discussing how this funding will be allocated. We couldn’t be more delighted, and I know this will help us realise our vision for the town we all love so much.”