Regeneration drive kicks off in town centre

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A £3.7m scheme to smarten up shops in Dewsbury town centre and boost its economy is underway.

Following a successful bid by Kirklees Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded them £2m. The council then contributed a further £1.7m towards what has become the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Refurbishments to shops in Northgate, Queensway Arcade and Foundry Street include new shop fronts, and the replacement and decoration of defective guttering, pipes, windows and doors.

Work will go ahead at Pioneer House, the former Co-op funeral parlour 23 Northgate, Northgate House and other locations.

Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) said: “It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this stage but we hope all the effort and investment will be the catalyst to encourage new businesses and help boost the economy and profile of the town, making the area a better place to live, work and visit.”

Work has begun at electrical store Imsons in Foundry Street, which was visited by councillors Eric Firth and Cathy Scott this week.

Soeab Laher, owner of Imsons, said that once further refurbishments have been completed. He said: “It’s definitely going to bring people round. It will liven the area up. It was great news, I was very, very happy.”

He thanked everyone involved in bringing the scheme to the town centre, including Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative officer John Lambe.

This first wave of work is due to be completed by August, but the scheme runs until July 2018.

Mr Lambe said that other bids have been placed with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Refurbishments have been carried out by Dewsbury companies Walter West, based in Highgate Road and architects Martin Walsh Associates, of Leeds Road.