Agenda and minutes

Dewsbury Town Board - Thursday 2nd December 2021 5.30 pm

Venue: Pioneer House, Dewsbury. View directions

Contact: Nicola Sylvester  Email:

No. Item


Membership of Dewsbury Town Deal Board

To receive apologies for absence from Board Members who are unable to attend this meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Martin Hathaway and Nancy Barrett.  Councillor Cathy Scott substituted for Councillor Shabir Pandor.



Declaration of Interests

Members will be asked to advise if there are any items on the Agenda in which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, which would prevent them from participating in any discussion on the item of participating in a vote upon the item, or any other interests.


No interests were declared.  The register of Board Members is reviewed annually by Kirklees Council.  The Chair asked that all Board Members updated their interests.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on Thursday 4th November 2021.


The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 4th November 2021 were agreed as a correct record subject to the wording on item 6, which should read  “The Board received a late update from Kit Burnett, Project Officer, West Yorkshire Combined Authority on the provisional results of the public consultation of Dewsbury which was a discussion item only”.



Chairs Update

Keith Ramsay – Chair of Board


The Chair thanked Board Members for the use of venues for Board meetings and confirmed that the offer would be greatly received in the New Year.  Dewsbury Town Hall was an alternative venue which could accommodate Hybrid meetings.


The Chair had received minutes of a meeting that took place on 8th December with Peer Chairs and LEP Chair, Sir Roger Marsh.  The majority of the meeting focused on updates from the 8 towns in the Leeds City region/ West Yorkshire Combined Authority.  Sir Roger Marsh spoke about the progress made with Combined Authority and LEP submission to the comprehensive spending review.  It was noted that they would like to align Town Deals with the West Yorkshire Recover plan and Government plan for growth.  Tracy Brabin was taking an interest in Town Deals. It was noted that one topic to be discussed at the next meeting was access to other funding.


The Chair advised that he was keen to develop working groups and asked Board Members to advise if they were interested in being part of the Youth Engagement working group.


The Chair advised that he had spoken at Kirklees Planning Committee to support the planning application for Dewsbury Markets.


The Chair advised that a meeting had not been arranged in January 2022, if there was a need for a Board Meeting at short notice, one would be arranged with the appropriate notice as the Terms of Reference.




·         That Board Members contact the Chair to expression their interest to be part of the Youth Engagement working group,

·         That Martin Broadest and Palvinder Singh be thanked for the use of their venues for Board Meetings,

·         That the Chair would call a meeting in January if necessary working to the timescales within the Terms of Reference.







Project Update - Construction Skills Village

Officer – Chris Duffill – Head of Service, Business and Skills


The Board received an update on the Constructions Skills Village.  Chris Duffill, Head of Service, Business and Skills explained Kirklees builds which was a new skills and education centre that delivered practical construction training within a live site environment, working closely with Kirklees College and partners. Kirklees build was a leading-edge facility which delivered specialist training in modern methods of construction, retrofit, low carbon energy and other future skill needs.  It provided a safe/secure environment to deliver training to young people, unemployed adults and other target grounds which was supported by major employers, Colleges and the CITB.


The project involved a 1-hectare site containing a mix of low cost teaching/welfare accommodation and a secure site compound, specialist training facilities, a mobile facility that could be relocated as development phases complete and a location within/adjoining the Dewsbury Riverside housing site and close to TRU and other major projects.


The next steps were;

·         Complete the feasibility study/business plan - January 2022

·         Confirm preferred site – February 2022

·         Cabinet approval – March 2022

·         Planning application – Summer 2022


A discussion took place around soft landscaping, apprentice opportunities, white collar skills and Dewsbury Riverside, Chris Duffill advised that soft landscaping, “apprenticeships for all” and white-collar skills would be included within the project. The timing of Dewsbury Riverside was pertinent to the project and Kirklees Council were keeping their options open to exploring other site opportunities.


There were concerns around skills in the bedding industry within Dewsbury, Chris Duffill advised that there were discussions taking place and was an area that was to be considered.


A suggestion was made for conditions be added to planning approvals where a percentage of the workforce had to be apprenticeships, Joanne Bartholomew, Head of Service, advised that the Head of Planning was working with large developments, looking at what employment was available and it would be an expectation that apprenticeships would be part of contracts.


A question was raised regarding BAME and the construction industry, how would promoting the wider job opportunities within the broader construction industry and try to change the narrative around the bricks and mortar take place.  Palvinder Singh, Principle and Chief Executive, Kirklees College advised that narrative needed to be challenged with parents, as being skilled in construction was as good as being a doctor, there were outdated myths on construction employment.


It was asked that Heritage skills be considered within Kirklees build.





·         The Chair to speak with Officers regarding the bedding industry,

·         That Martin Walsh to be a Board Member on any committee that covered apprenticeships,

·         Head of skills to provide the Board with an oversight of the different industries across the directorate and for Palvinder Singh to support on apprenticeships at the meeting in February/March.





Programme Update

Officers – Michelle Illingworth – ER Project Officer, Economy and Skills

                Peter Thompson – ER Project Manager, Economy and Skills

                Simon Taylor – Head of Town Centre Programmes


The Board received a programme update which reflected on the Town Investment Plan Key Milestones. 


Michelle Illingworth, ER Project Officer advised of the following key dates;


Late 2019 – Dewsbury was one of the 101 place invited to develop proposals for a new generation of multi-million pound Town Deal,


Early 2020 – The Dewsbury Town Deal Board held their first meeting,


June 2020 – Avison Young were appointed by Kirklees Council to prepare and develop the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan,


September 2020 – Government approved £750,000 advanced funding towards 6 projects,


October 2020 – Social Communication were appointed to carry out an inclusive programme of consultation and engagement to support the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan,


December 2020 – Engagement and consultation report was finalised,


January 2021 – The Town Board was fully constituted and endorsed the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan.  Cabinet approved the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan paper and agreed additional Council capital match funding of “26.4m.  Cabinet meeting – Capital Plan update presented and approval of funding for the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan agreed.  The Dewsbury Town Investment Plan was submitted to seek £25.58m of government funding,


March 2021 – Advance funded projects completed,


April/May 2021 – Recruitment for a new Town Deal Chair begun,

June 2021 – Confirmation the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan had been accepted and Kirklees Council had been awarded £24.8m.  Heads of Terms was issued to Kirklees Council.  The appointment of a new Town Deal Chair took place and Heads of Terms were signed by Kirklees Council and Dewsbury Town Board Chair,


October 2021 – Cabinet signed off the business case assurance process and final confirmation of all the match funding for the Town Investment Plan projects including external partners - £36m,


November 2021 – The first business case was signed off and summary document submitted to Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.


The next steps and future milestones:


Business Case completion target dates –


  • The Arcade – November 2021
  • Cultural Events Programme – December 2021
  • Dewsbury Market and Fibre – December 2021
  • Daisy Hill – February 2022
  • Cultural Hub, Urban Realm, Building Revival and Construction Skills Village – March 2022
  • Sustainable Travel – February 2022


The aim was to have all of the business cases signed off by April 2022 and summary documents to be submitted to Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities by June 2022 with a Communication and Marketing Plan developed in January 2022.





  • That Michelle and colleagues be thanked for the valuable work that had taken place,
  • That Michelle circulates the presentation to all Board Members and officers,
  • That the Board walk around the town to observe the projects in the April meeting.




Please notify the Chair of any other business items by Wednesday 1st December 2021.


No items were received.


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 3rd February 2022 at 17:30

Location: To be confirmed


For Terms of Reference please visit



Thursday 3rd February 2022 – 5.30pm

Location to be advised.