After three successful projects, Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is set to further transform more of the town’s shop fronts.
Originally a five-year plan, it has been extended for another 18 months up until the end of 2019, to continue to regenerate the Northgate area of the town. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided the initial £2m for the project and a further £1.7m was provided by Kirklees Council.
Introduced in 2013, one of the scheme’s aims is to create a more uniformed town centre, replacing existing modern shop fronts with traditional designs and restoring and preserving historical features.
Imsons, located in Queensway Arcade, Northgate was transformed with traditional, deep red signage and neat window design, making a significant difference to the aesthetics of the store and Queensway Arcade. Both 13-17 Corporation Street and Northgate House have also undergone significant architectural makeovers, restoring original components and replacing windows and signs.
The Townscape Heritage Initiative grant is really making an impact on Corporation Street where the popular takeaway restaurant, Pizza GoGo is following in the footsteps of neighbours Sweet & Salted and Simply Mobile by taking up the Townscape Heritage Initiative grant. All three shops are now making the street look smart and welcoming.
Pizza GoGo business owner said: “We are happy the grant came through as we needed it to help give our business a lift. We’ve seen what a difference it has made to other shops’ appearances and are delighted that the application was accepted. We are delighted with the outcome.”
Good progress is also being made on other properties, with planning applications having been submitted for: 19-19A Foundry Street, 28-30 Northgate and the former Black Bull close to submitting for planning permission.
The largest and most impressive renovation will be Pioneer House where work is well underway to restore the major landmark and bring it back to use as part of Dewsbury Learning Quarter.
Coun David Sheard, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Dewsbury is a traditional market town, with some stunning architecture; our investment in the Northgate is part of our commitment to the regeneration of the town and North Kirklees as a whole.
“We are proud of what the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative has achieved so far and how this has dramatically changed the appearance of some of Dewsbury’s popular shops. We are hoping that in turn, the change in the town centre will make it a better area to live, work and visit and encourage more businesses to move into the town.
It is essential that businesses and landlords take responsibility for the properties they own in Dewsbury, and I would encourage those with businesses in the heritage area of town to consider how the scheme could be of benefit to them.”