Town centre transformation to begin

Dewsbury town centre
Dewsbury town centre
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Councillors are set to approve the first grant from a £3.7m fund to improve buildings in Dewsbury town centre.

The Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative is a five-year project funded by £2m from the Lottery and £1.7m from Kirklees Council.

The council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday next week to consider a grant towards renovation work at Imsons, a family-run store.

Work will involve replacing existing modern shopfronts with traditional shop fronts to all three elevations.

Defective gutters and fall pipes will be replaced and improvements made to doors and windows. The work has been given planning permission.

A “clawback” clause ensures no profit is made as a result of the grant should the property be sold. The size of the grant has not been revealed.

The Imsons scheme is one of several which are expected to follow.

Pioneer House is the “critical project”, says the council, and is alongside several priority projects including 23 Northgate (the former Co-op funeral parlour), Northgate House (currently Families Relief charity shop), Northgate Triangle (a group of properties between Queensway Arcade, Northgate and Foundry Street) and Kingsway Arcade.

The report to cabinet says: “The scheme aims to create a smart and welcoming environment by improving and enhancing the quality of Dewsbury’s heritage buildings.

“The investment will, in turn, encourage new businesses and help boost the economy and profile of the town, making the area a better place to live, work and visit.”

The report says the grant application from Imsons - one of the priority properties - is the first of the scheme.

The Townscape Heritage scheme is due to end in June 2018.