£20K fund will help create jobs for town

JOB HOPES Coun Paul Kane hopes the fund will help create jobs.
JOB HOPES Coun Paul Kane hopes the fund will help create jobs.

A £20,000 fund could help new shops opening in Dewsbury town centre with business rates.

Half the cash would be provided by Dewsbury Area Committee – and Dewsbury Regeneration Board chairman Paul Kane (Lab, Dews East) is urging Kirklees Council to match the funding.

Coun Kane said the plan would help people get back into work while also supporting shops by easing their rates burden.

He said: “We see the issue in the town about business rates. Firstly, we have to force home to people that Kirklees do not set the business rates – they are set nationally. But we do have the responsibility for collecting them.

“We want to attract new businesses and get people into the town.

“This is not a huge amount of money – it is not a fix-all.

“But we want to help people back into employment and open up a few empty shops along the way. It’s primarily about creating jobs.”

Coun Kane said ten or more new businesses could benefit from the money, with each receiving cash for each new person they employ.

A report is being prepared for the area committee on allocating £10,000 of their cash, which will be discussed at the next meeting on December 10.

The area committee will also be asked to fund lighting along the viaduct which crosses Bradford Road and Halifax Road.

Around £1,350 would be used to set up a new connection to light up the historic feature. The lights went out around 18 months ago as residents of Sprinkwell Mills in Bradford Road felt it was unfair that they were footing the electricity bill.

A new connection would be another selling point for a historic part of the town along with the ongoing revamp of Pioneer House.

Coun Kane said: “It’s part of the rich architectural background of the Dewsbury and it looks stunning when lit up.”