Ideas to improve a “declining” Kirklees market will be assessed by independent consultants.
Kirklees Council is looking to appoint a specialist to work on a plan to secure a “positive future” for Dewsbury Market.
It’s part of the next stage of their plans to revitalise Dewsbury Town Centre as part of the North Kirklees Growth Zone regeneration project.
Clr Peter McBride, cabinet member for Economy, said: “The market has a long history with the town and is an important part of our heritage.
“It has declined over the last few years, but it has the ability to deliver more for the town centre and residents, supporting our local economy.
“I believe that this work could result in a world class market, which as part of the wider regeneration activity, will make the town centre more appealing to residents and visitors, and encourage more people to shop, live and work in Dewsbury.
“This is a positive and important first step in how we can work with the community and traders to secure the long term future of Dewsbury Market, and reinforces the Council’s commitment to delivering the aspirations of the North Kirklees Growth Zone.”
Kirklees say they recognise that the market was once a major attraction, drawing in coach parties of visitors from miles around, and say it remains an important aspect of the retail offer in the town.
However like many other markets across the country it is not as popular as it once was.
In order to ensure that it can thrive long into the future the council needs to develop a research based plan, and this is where the consultants come in.
Consultants will be asked to look at the physical aspects of the market and how it is used as well as gathering feedback and intelligence from traders, businesses, local residents and community groups.
They will also look at what funding opportunities are available to the council in the future to turn ideas generated into a reality.
The regeneration of the market follows on from the council’s investment in Pioneer House and the agreement with Kirklees College to move their campus to the Dewsbury Learning Quarter.
This will bring thousands of students and potential shoppers into town to study at Pioneer House and a new facility - the Springfield Centre - across the ring road at the old Safeway site.
This new investment is part of a range of projects that are being planned for Dewsbury and the wider North Kirklees area over the next 10 years as part of the North Kirklees Growth Zone (NKGZ) economic regeneration initiative.