By KLTV Newsdesk –
The Arcade in Dewsbury town centre wants people’s memories and photographs to showcase the history and legacy of the iconic building.
The Arcade dates back to 1899 but closed to the public in 2016, having fallen into decline and disrepair.
Now the community business which will take on the lease for the building wants to hear people’s memories and recollections about The Arcade down the decades.
Kirklees Council has bought the building and, with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and the Town Fund hopes to secure the funding required for a complete renovation.
The council plans to open the restored listed building in 2024 and lease it to The Arcade Group Dewsbury, a not-for-profit company. It will then house shops, artisan businesses and bars or food outlets.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £106,657 for initial development work, the first stage of a £3.7m application towards the overall £7m restoration costs. As part of the process, the Heritage Fund is supporting The Arcade Group to showcase the proud history and heritage of The Arcade.
Heritage link worker Mike Mawson, of The Arcade Group Dewsbury, urged people to help him piece together a community-led history of the building.
“We want to create a written, oral, image and video archive to highlight the historical significance of The Arcade,” he said.
“If anyone has any specific knowledge, special memories or interesting stories or photos of The Arcade, then we’d love them to share them with us.
“I’m particularly interested to hear memories of the well-known shops that lined The Arcade over the years, for example, Auty’s Music Shop, Ivor Burns shoe shop, Ann’s Pantry, Candyman, Hidden Treasure jewellers and the like. Then there was the iconic J&B department store on Corporation Street.
“Most of all, I’m interested to know why people hold The Arcade in such high regard. What was it that made it so special?”
Anyone who can help should send their memories and pictures to Mike at email@example.com.
Mike added: “Your contribution may be reproduced for display or exhibition purposes, so your words may appear in print but don’t be shy! We’d love as many people as possible to contribute and do justice to this fabulous building.”