First visuals offer glimpse of future for Dewsbury Market
Images released by Kirklees Council show how architect BDP’s vision for the marketplace will look after its £15m redevelopment.
As with various councils who have invested in markets as a social pull to drive town centre footfall amid traditional retail’s struggles, the council said that the focus of its plans is creating a more varied offering to give a wide range of people reasons to visit the market day and night.
As well as enhancing the traditional market offering, Kirklees wants to create more areas for eating, drinking, socialising and events.
Kirklees signed off £8.3m for the market project in March 2021, with a further £6.6m being levered in through the Towns Fund later that year.
The council said the plans are costed and compliant, but final details are still being worked out ahead of sharing fully detailed plans, initially with existing traders, towards the end of this year.
Kirklees stressed that all images at this stage are indicative, “to give an idea of the look and feel of the new market” with finer details still to be confirmed.
What will remain is the historic glass roof, which the council said has been refurbished “for a more modern look and feel”.
Key elements, though, include a paved space just outside the market which will feature outdoors seating for the new food and drink offering. The s[ace will also house the outdoor market, but also be used for other events.
Another interior shot of the market shows a food and beverage-led area, with indoor seating at the centre and a digital screen to support with events – a stage at the end of the space is also being considered.
Cllr Cathy Scott, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “I can’t overstate how excited I am to finally be able to release these images, and tell people the new plans are just around the corner.
“We’ve been doing so much work behind the scenes over the last year, and I know how difficult it is when people can’t see the work being done or the amount of consideration that goes into each and every decision.
“At the moment, these first few images are just to give you an idea of the look and feel of the new market. But they’re also to reassure local residents and traders that plans for the market are still progressing – more than that, we’re nearly at the point where we can share the full detail publicly.”
The project is part of the Dewsbury Blueprint, a 10-year regeneration masterplan that also includes The Arcade, bought by the council in 2020.
The market scheme also dates back to before the pandemic, as the councillor explained:
“We began the work of re-evaluating and re-costing plans for Dewsbury Market before the current economic difficulties were fully known, but it’s now more important than ever that we ensure every aspect of these designs makes the best use of our budget.
“That said, despite financial challenges, we have never once given up on our ambitions for the market or for Dewsbury town centre, and we know how important and long-awaited these plans are – they have to be right, and they have to deliver transformative change for my hometown.
“I can honestly say I believe this new, improved market will transform Dewsbury town centre, and future-proof one of our greatest assets for not just years but generations to come.”