Agenda and minutes

Dewsbury Town Board - Thursday 3rd February 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - online. 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.


No apologies were received. 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 advised that the interest register will be circulated for Board Members to update details for the March 22 meeting.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on Thursday 2nd December 2021.


The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 2nd December 2021 were agreed as a correct record subject to the wording on item 5, which should include  “The Board questioned the delivery of Dewsbury Riverside, if delayed would that make a difference to the Skills Village.  It was noted that Kirklees Council were looking at potential sites due to that eventuality”.



Public Question Time

The meeting will hear any questions from the general public. Questions should be emailed to no later than 5:00pm Monday 31 January 2022.


Members of the public can ask questions relating to the work of the Town Board or issues set out on this agenda.



Question from Sue Baker on behalf of a member of the Public


If it was possible (rather than demolish a relatively new building) to use part of the Walsh building for a community space to house the historic documents/effects for Dewsbury which would then be accessible to be viewed by the general public. This would fit in well with the use of the surrounding area for a park and would provide a reused building with a much-needed use and could be shared space for other needs/events for the park /town.


A response was received which advised that the Walsh building was part of Dewsbury Blueprint and questions should be directed to the Portfolio Holder of Kirklees Council, Councillor Eric Firth.


The Chair requested Board Members to encourage the public to submit public questions themselves rather than through a Board Member.


There were concerns with regards to inviting the public to meetings. It was felt that public questions on an agenda and the agenda being published on the Kirklees and Dewsbury Town Board website did not constitute as an invitation.


The Chair confirmed that conversations had taken place with Kirklees Officers on how this could be improved for the March 22 meeting.



  • That the response to the public question be noted
  • That the Chair advises on how the public are to be invited to future meetings.



Chairs Update

Keith Ramsay – Chair of Board


The Chair updated Board Members on the meeting with peer Chairs and the LEP Chair, the next meeting was 15th March. 


The Chair advised that he would write to Tracey Brabin regarding work around the manufacturing sector with regards to outlining the aspirations of the Board around skill development in Dewsbury.


It was noted that the Chair would like to commission a small piece of work by a comms/marketing professional to guide on the Communication and Marketing Strategy.


A discussion took place as it was felt that marketing professional were not necessarily required as there were specialists within Kirklees Council and there were platforms that could be used by Board Members. It was noted that Brighouse Town Deal had gone live with their website and there were other Town Deals across Yorkshire that the Board could learn from.  It was also noted that Dewsbury Reporter were willing to publish a half page monthly update on the progress of the Town Board, although there could be a charge.

The Chair responded to advise that resources from Kirklees Council were not available and that the Board needed to find the best way to Communicate.  It was noted that Kirklees procurement process would need to be followed and 3 tenders would be required.


The Chair invited Palvinder Singh, Principle and Chief Executive, Kirklees College to provide an update on Youth Engagement. Palvinder, Campus Dewsbury Lead and Student Services Lead had met with Joanne Bartholomew. The purpose of the meeting was to look at how to engage students and connect the bridge for representative students who want to be engaged. This would bridge into Dewsbury Town Board via Palvinder and into the wider population of the youth voice.  Once the representatives have been identified, it was suggested that the students attended a board meeting where a discussion could take place on how the Board would like them to be engaged within Dewsbury Town Deal.


The Chair advised that Martin Hathaway had submitted his resignation to the Board, Keith thanked Martin for his support and endeavours in supporting and contributing to the Town Deal Board since its inception.




  • That the Chairs update be noted.
  • That the Youth Engagement update be noted.



Sustainable Transport Modes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Officers – Armin Alisic – Project Officer

                Robert Stanley – Project Officer



The Board received a presentation on Sustainable Transport Modes which provided information and the next steps on the sustainable travel project in Dewsbury.


Transforming Cities Fund was a major programme of investment to deliver transformational change in sustainable and active travel across the Leeds City Region.  The City Region would benefit for £317 million of investment from fund, with projects designed to improve bus, walking and cycling infrastructure and was supplemented by other funding streams.  The investment would contribute towards reducing reliance on car travel and meeting the City Region’s commitment to become a zero-carbon city region by 2038.


£1.325m was allocated through the Town Investment Fund to deliver three Transforming Cities Fund scheme elements and local match funding was available should the Transforming Cities Fund fail. It was noted that the Transforming Cities Fund for Kirklees included other projects in and around Dewsbury and the Bus Station project led by the Combined Authority.


The Challenges and Opportunities were:

  • Decline in Dewsbury Town Centre and Market retail offer
  • Poor arrival and sense of place experience for visitors and potential investors
  • Lack of business confidence
  • Ring road discouraged pedestrian and cycle
  • Inadequate walking provisions including substandard footway widths
  • Limited and disconnected cycle facilities around the Town Centre
  • Vehicle dominated environment (cars, vans, buses, delivery trucks)
  • Significant planned development in the area with little capacity to accommodate growth in transport demand
  • Low levels of green infrastructure.


The Key milestones were:

  • 2nd stage Public Consultation start – February 2022
  • Outline Business Case Submission – May/June 2022
  • Full Business Case Submission – November 2022
  • Construction Start – Jan 2023
  • Potential Wellington Street works as fast-track phase from Summer 2022
  • Completion – December 2023


The Board was advised that a limited number of the 34 different measures proposed on the public consultation did not receive the public and wider stakeholder support, the 2nd stage Public Consultation is aimed for a late February launch, the consultation will seek opinion on new or amended measures, including replacement scheme to connect Leeds and Bradford Road junctions.


The Board raised a concern around public consultations which had been carried out and resulted in poor response rates, it was felt that all groups were not targeted and lacked engagement, with only a few options for the public to provide feedback.


It was noted that that the poor responses could be down to “consultation fatigue” across communities and that the consultation material would be reviewed.  It was agreed that the views of the Board would be considered and the Board was asked to support consultations in helping the public engage.


A discussion took place on traffic calming measures, alternative routes away from main roads, ethnicity and age group of users of the town centre along with what the vision of the project was, how this would be usable for people with disabilities, Greenway linkup, sustainable travel between the Riverside development and Town centre and if the project would result in road closures.


It was noted that funding was stretched,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Cultural Programme Update - Creative Hub Project pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Nancy Barrett – Board Member


The Board received a presentation on the Cultural Programme – Union Creative Hub, which provided feedback on the first few months of a feasibility study.


Brigantia, who led the project was a new charity based in Dewsbury that supported positive social change through arts and culture who worked collaboratively nationally and internationally with artists, producers, facilitators and thinkers to bring new opportunities to the people and places that need them most.


Union Creative Hub was based at Union Street in Dewsbury, due to major structural problems there were limits to the use of the building.  Further sites had been identified which would allow Union to be a thriving creative hub at the heart of Dewsbury, bringing together people from across the town’s diverse communities.


Dependencies were:


  • Dewsbury Town Investment Plan
  • Strategic alignment within Kirklees Council
  • Strong Support from local people
  • Planning consents
  • Timely acquisitions of properties
  • Brigantia Board approval
  • Partnerships with other creative or community facing organisations
  • Match funds for capital projects


It was noted by Kirklees Officers that one of the options proposed was more ambitious than the initial plan submitted and raised concerns regarding additional funding required for the project.


In response to the concern, The Board was advised that the creative economy attracted funding. Support from partners would be required and work could be phased over a few years. Conversations had taken place with the Arts Council Trusts, Foundations, Regional and National bodies regarding further funding available.


It was also raised by officers from Kirklees that the new project was a departure from that submitted in the TIP submissions to Government earlier in the year. However, Kirklees would work with Brigantia to build a new Business Case and would help with conversations with BEIS who were overseeing the Town Deal for Government.










  • That the update be noted
  • That Kirklees would continue work with Bigantia to build a Business Case and help with conversations about the changed project with BEIS leads,
  • That the presentation be circulated to all Board Members.


Communication - Report to follow

Keith Ramsay – Chair of the Board


A paper was circulated to Board Members on the advantages and disadvantages of using Teams via Email for communication between Board Meetings.  The Chair requested that Board Members use Teams to communicate in between meetings and training was to be provided. It was noted that Board Members using Teams could not be mandated.



  • That Board Members be requested to communicate through Teams between meetings
  • That training on Teams be provided to Board Members.



Business Case Update

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


An update was provided on Business Cases and the Risk Register.


Business cases had been submitted for the Arcade, Market, Fibre and Cultural Events programme.


The Risk register requested by Town Board members hi-lighted key risks around the projects.


Concerns were raised to advise that the risk register was not realistic due to the update on the Cultural Hub project.


It was noted that the Risk register would be updated monthly.



  • That the Risk register to be updated monthly
  • That the Risk register and Business Case update be noted.



Board Membership - New appointments

Keith Ramsay – Chair of the Board


The Chair advised the Board of a curriculum vitae that had been circulated for James Conn, UK Greetings and asked Board Members for comment and approval. All Board Members agreed to appoint James Conn to the Dewsbury Town Board and welcomed him to the Board.




·         That James Conn be appointed as a Board Member to the Dewsbury Town Board.



Proposed dates for future meetings

Keith Ramsay – Chair of the Board


The Chair advised the Board that meetings would take place every six weeks taking into consideration the pre-election period.


It was noted that the Board would meet in April to walk around the Town and visit the Town Deal projects.




  • That meeting’s be every 6 weeks taking into consideration the Pre-election period,
  • That the Board will meet in April 22 to visit the Town Deal projects.




Cultural Arts Programme


Working Groups - A suggestion was put forward for working groups be added to the agenda of the next meeting.


Cultural Hub – A request was made for Business Cases to be circulated to the Board prior to approval.




  • That working groups be added to the March 22 agenda
  • That Business Cases be circulated to the Board prior to approval.



Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 17th March 2022 at 5:30pm

Location: To be confirmed





For Terms of Reference please visit



The next meeting will take place on Thursday 17th March 2022.