By Leah Conway
A significant decision for the future of Dewsbury Market will take place this month. The Cabinet will be asked to approve an investment into the transformation of Dewsbury Market on 16 March 2021
What will change for Dewsbury Market?
The council intends to transform the market. They want to both support existing traders and encourage more people to visit the market in the future.
The Cabinet will approve if the £8.3 M allocated from the capital budget can be used. Another decision the cabinet will make on the 16 March is whether to support Dewsbury Market in its temporary move into the town centre of Dewsbury while the market space is regenerated.
Details of what the new market could look at will be shared in a detailed proposal in Summer 2021.
The regeneration of the market is part of a wider blueprint for the regeneration of Dewsbury which was announced in February 2020. Kirklees council and Dewsbury Town Board are waiting on news from a bid that could see them receive a further £6.6M from the Government’s Town Fund. The Council and Dewsbury Town Board expect to hear a decision by the end of March 2021.
Business as usual
To ensure that market trade can operate as usual, the council is planning to allow the market to trade in town while the market hall is being regenerated. There have been proposals to relocate the market to Foundry Street, Market Place, the footpath at Long Causeway outside the precinct and the forecourt of the Town Hall.
If these plans are approved on 16 March 2021, Dewsbury Market will temporarily move from February 2022 to the summer of 2023.
“One of the most distinct and well-loved parts of Dewsbury…”
Cllr Peter McBride Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “This is an important milestone for the Dewsbury Blueprint, and really demonstrates our commitment to the future of this town, as the market remains one of the most distinct and well-loved parts of Dewsbury.
“Whilst visitor numbers may have declined, market days are still the busiest in terms of footfall. So, it is important that we maintain that popularity whilst work is carried out on the historic market.
“By moving the market into the centre of town in the short term we can support our local traders and help make sure local communities can still benefit from the affordable goods on offer.”
Cllr Paul Davies Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We want to create a market that is appealing to younger people and families, that celebrates cultural diversity and offers a unique shopping and leisure experience.
“There will be spaces to eat and be entertained alongside more traditional market stalls. By reducing the number of stalls to reflect current and potential future demand, we can create a more flexible space that meets the changing needs of our customers for years to come.
“We hope that the new market will attract a diverse range of stall holders that will plug existing gaps in terms of food, drink and leisure opportunities within the town.”
Kirklees Cabinet will vote on these matters on 16 March 2021.