Disgruntled traders have accused Kirklees Council of “abandoning” a century-old shopping arcade.
Retailers at Dewsbury’s Kingsway Arcade have criticised the council for failing to carry out much-needed repairs to the historic structure – and claim the state of the building is putting off shoppers.
The arcade is home to a number of privately-owned units. Businesses in the arcade include a pets and aquatics store, a clothes shop, a travel agency, a cafe, a gift shop and a toy shop.
But Kirklees Council is responsible for the fabric of the building, including the glass roof and paved floor.
Paul Coates, who runs carpet retailer DC Floors in the arcade, said: “The roof leaks, the flag stones are loose and grimy and the gutters are rotten.
“We were told that there would be a big celebration for the centenary of the arcade, but nothing has been done at all. I have been here one-and-a-half years and it has been like this all the time I have been here.
“Whenever it rains heavily, the water streams down the walls in the arcade – and it gets worse every day. The shoppers are disgusted with the way the arcade has been left.”
Mr Coates said Kirklees had got quotes for work to repair the arcade, but says he was told it was too expensive to proceed.
And he claimed that promotional events such as Dewsbury on Sea, which turned part of the town centre into a beach, took place away from the arcade and centred on Dewsbury Market Place and the area outside the town hall.
“The council needs to do more to involve not just one part of town but all of it,” said Mr Coates. “There have been days when we have not had anyone in the shop all day.”
Mr Coates said traders at the arcade between Foundry Street and Northgate were planning “to do our own thing” for Christmas as they did not expect the council to help promote their part of town.
A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “Officers are looking at potential solutions and sources of funding to deal with the current condition of the roof.
“We have committed to communicate with tenants once we have options to take the work forward and will be meeting with the Heritage Lottery Fund later this month to discuss potential funding options.”