DOZENS of council jobs are being moved to Dewsbury next month, the Reporter can exclusively reveal.
At least 150 staff will start working in Empire House from mid July.
The Wakefield Old Road site will house staff from various services, but the council’s offices will be closed to the public.
Kirklees Council has long faced calls to prove its commitment to Dewsbury by bringing jobs to the town centre.
Dewsbury Regeneration Board chairman Coun Paul Kane said: “We’re doing what we said we would do. Dewsbury is a priority for us as a council and it will be for the foreseeable future.
“I’m quite happy with the way things are going and we’re starting to see the fruits of our labour.”
He listed contractors starting work on the Pioneer House redevelopment and Kirklees winning government cash to bring empty high street shops back into use as other recent successes.
The decision to move more staff to Dewsbury town centre follows the opening of the council’s new customer service centre beside the town hall in May.
Around 20 of the staff moving into offices in the second and third floors of Empire House will be relocating from the town hall, with the rest coming from other offices in north Kirklees. They include staff from the council’s adult and wellbeing service. Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell said he was delighted by the news.
“I’ve been asking them to do this for three years and probably 18 months ago it seemed as if the penny had dropped and they had realised it would be good for the town,” he said. “It’s great that there are going to be 130 extra people coming into Dewsbury every day. They’ve only got to spend £3 a day and we’ll have more than £2,000 put into the town centre economy every week.”
Mr Reevell said he wanted to see the council build on this by encouraging more people to work in the town centre and Pioneer House when it was ready for tenants.
Coun Kane said: “I think it’s important that retailers get more confidence and see people spending in the town.