Multi-million cash boost could breed 'new life and vibrancy', says ex Kirklees mayor

Ex-Kirklees mayor Eric Firth
Ex-Kirklees mayor Eric Firth

A business leader said Dewsbury civic leaders being handed £162,019 for regeneration plans could be the first steps of breathing “new life and vibrancy” into the town.

The £162k cash boost, part of £16.4 million government pot, will allow town leaders to draw up town-revamp blueprints in order to access a £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

Dewsbury town centre

Dewsbury town centre

Eric Firth, who is Chairman of regeneration group Dewsbury Forward, said the money is an chance to put plans together aimed at tackling unloved buildings, and stimulate an economic rivival.

He said: “This blueprint money for regeneration is great news.

“There are many dilapidated buildings in Dewsbury, which have been left unloved partly due to landlords owning the properties, but living outside of the area.

“I’m aware the blueprint money will allow the council to apply for a maximum of £25 million - with money like that we could bring these buildings up to code and breathe new life and vibrancy back into Dewsbury.

“It could bring new businesses and people to the town and stimulate economic revival.”

The £162k, given by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, will allow the town’s civic leaders to make progress on their bid to regenerate Dewsbury, boost businesses and improve infrastructure, as well as help the council access the government’s £3.6 billion war chest.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We’re giving people in West Yorkshire the money and power to decide what’s best for their town because they know their community’s unique strengths.

“Together we can build on the billions of pounds the Government has already invested in our towns and the thousands of new jobs and businesses it has delivered to level up these places across the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.”

Mr Firth said: “I’m now in contact with Kirklees regeneration councillor Peter McBride, so we can help make sure the money is spent wisely on struggling areas such as Northgate and Westgate.”

Other places in West Yorkshire on the cash boost list were Goldthorpe, Keighley and Shipley, Brighouse, Todmorden, and Morley.