Together with the Dewsbury Town Deal Board, Kirklees Council has secured a significant investment of nearly £4.5 million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. The funding will support the revitalisation of the historic Dewsbury Arcade, a Grade II Listed building that has been a prominent feature of Dewsbury town centre since the Victorian era. This achievement aligns with the ambitious plans outlined in the Dewsbury Blueprint, which charts Kirklees Council’s vision for the town’s future.
The planned improvements aim to bring the Dewsbury Arcade, which has remained vacant for the past seven years, back into regular use. Notably, the restoration work will ensure the preservation of the building’s exquisite historic architecture while breathing new life into its structure. Following this crucial injection of funding, the arcade renovations are scheduled to commence this autumn.
To facilitate the reopening of the building and ensure its sustained success, the Arcade Group, a community business formed for the purpose of leasing and managing the arcade, will play a pivotal role. The group aims to fill the revitalised space with a diverse range of independent local traders, complemented by an exceptional food and drink offering.
In conjunction with the commencement of the renovation works this autumn, the Arcade Group will launch a community share group. This initiative will empower local individuals to elect board members and become partial owners of the business. By actively raising funds for business-related developments, the community share group will provide invaluable support to the Arcade Group.
Those interested in becoming tenants or investors can directly contact the Arcade Group to express their interest in this exciting opportunity.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, expressed his delight, stating, “The acquisition of the arcade in 2020 marked one of the initial significant steps in our Dewsbury Blueprint plans. Therefore, it is fantastic news that we can now commence our ambitious renovations. The arcade has always been an impressive building and a true focal point for visitors to the town centre. Witnessing its restoration to its former glory will be a remarkable sight. I eagerly anticipate its transformation into a vibrant thoroughfare once again, reinvigorating Dewsbury’s retail offering alongside our other blueprint plans. Additionally, I hope this reassures the public that, although projects of this nature can be time-consuming, extensive work is occurring behind the scenes. We are committed to delivering the best possible outcomes while adhering to our plans for the Dewsbury Blueprint.”
Councillor Eric Firth, Cabinet Member for Transport and Ward Councillor for Dewsbury East, shared his excitement, saying, “The Dewsbury Arcade stands as one of our town centre’s most iconic buildings. Thanks to this funding, we can revive it and welcome the public once more. I speak for everyone when I say that we are eagerly awaiting the commencement of this project. Local residents are thrilled to have a bustling retail offering in Dewsbury once again. This initiative, along with several others, aims to capitalise on our incredible independent traders, ultimately driving more value back into the local economy.”
The restoration and development of the Dewsbury Arcade signify a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to rejuvenate the town centre. With the generous investment from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the dedicated support of the local community, Dewsbury can look forward to reclaiming its position as a vibrant and thriving hub for residents and visitors alike.