Agenda and minutes

Dewsbury Town Board - Thursday 20th July 2023 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber , Town Hall, 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 on behalf of Mark Eastwood, Nancy Barrett and Peter Mason.


It was noted that Jane Jackson would replace Charles Smith on the Board as an observer.


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.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on Thursday 18th May 2023.


RESOLVED - The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 30 June 2022 be agreed as a correct record.


Admission of the Public

Most debates take place in public.  This only changes where there is a need to consider certain issues, for instance, commercially sensitive information or details concerning an individual.  You will be told at this point whether there are any items on the agenda which are to be discussed in private, by  virtue of the reports containing information which falls within a category of exempt information as contained at Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.



The Board noted the exempt information, as set out at Agenda Items 16, 17 and 18.


Public Question Time 4:35 - 4:50

The meeting will hear any questions from the general public.  Members of the public can ask questions relating to the work of the Town Board or issues set out in this agenda.


Questions to be received in writing to no later than 5pm on Monday 17th July 2023.


Question from Bruce Bird


“Given that the Board has failed to communicate effectively with the people of Dewsbury for more than two years, will you undertake to arrange for information on the status of all nine TIP projects to be visible on the streets of Dewsbury within the next three weeks?”


A response was provided by the Chair.


Question from Bruce Bird


“At the meeting of the Board in May, I asked whether you had carried out the Boards instructions dating from September 2022 regarding the scope of work and cost of the communications strategy.  Your written reply four weeks later contained no reply but a reference to a report being made to this meeting some two weeks later.  Assuming that the answer to my question is contained in this evening's report, will the Chair advise why it has taken him 10 months from September 2022 to execute an instruction from this Board?”


A response was provided by the Chair.


Question from Bruce Bird


“In relation to the process for removal of Board members contained in the revised Terms of Reference, you are obliged to identify where and how accountability and scrutiny is achieved in the process, for this document to be acceptable in public life?”


A response was provided by the Chair.


Deputations/Petitions 4:50 - 4:55

The Board will receive any petitions and hear any deputations from members of the public. A deputation is where up to five people can attend the meeting and make a presentation on some particular issue of concern. A member of the public can also hand in a petition at the meeting but that petition should relate to something on which the Board has powers and responsibilities.


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 (2), Members of the Public should provide at least 24 hours’ notice of presenting a deputation.


No deputations or petitions were received.


Terms of Reference 4:55 - 5:05 pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Keith Ramsay, Chair – Dewsbury Town Deal Board.


RESOLVED: That the Terms of Reference be considered at the next meeting of the Board.


Construction Skills Village 5:05 - 5:20

Contact: Chris Duffill, Head of Service, Business and Skills.


The Board received a presentation from Chris Duffill, Head of Service for Business and Skills.


Mr Duffill informed the Board that the new skills and education centre would deliver practical construction training within a ‘live’ site environment.  The facility would deliver specialist training in modern methods of construction, retrofit, low carbon energy and any other skills required. The aim was to invest in specialist training facilities to ensure that future skills needs could be delivered.


The Board noted that the on-site learning approach was increasingly being supported by major employers, colleges and the CITB.


Mr Duffill explained that the proposed location was part of Chidswell, which was a site northeast of Dewsbury with outline planning consent for 1,535 new homes, employment floor space, local centre, and a primary school.  The Board heard that this was the preferred site due to the longevity of the build along with scope for relocation as the development phases were completed.


The Board was advised that officers were in the process of working at resolving the remaining planning issues and that the programme of works would commence with modular units being procured from Q3 2023 moving to the fit out and opening in Q1 and Q2 of 2025 respectively.  


Palvinder Singh, Board Member explained that the college would need at least a years lead in time to recruit a Business Delivery Manager, staff to teach, and students to undertake the course.  Mr Singh explained that his team met with Mr Duffill on a regular basis to ensure that the programme was well aligned for when expenditure was incurred, along with the recruitment of staff.  The Board heard that Kirklees College at Brunel House in Huddersfield ran a successful construction section with over 600 students enrolled which Dewsbury could partner with and draw on the knowledge that already existed.


The Board was reminded that it was important to ensure that the £2.25m capital funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was spent within their given timeframe and before the match funding from Kirklees was drawn upon.  It was noted that the revenue sources and operational costs were a risk that sat mainly with the college and ongoing management of the scheme and were not a consideration of the Board. 


RESOLVED – That Mr Duffill be thanked for his presentation and update on the project.




Cultural Events Taking a Lead 5:20 - 5:35

Contact: Charlie Wells, Freelance Programme Manager.


Charlie Webb, Freelance Programme Manager and Richard Smith, Strategic Creative Development Manager attended the Board to present an update on Cultural Events Taking a Lead.


Ms Webb reminded the Board that Taking the Lead was a Dewsbury Town Investment Plan project funded by the Town Fund and aimed to support a vibrant cultural community in Dewsbury and surrounding areas using a programme of events, skills development and participatory opportunities across music, textiles, visual arts and performance. It also explored heritage, community, culture and beyond with people living, working, and studying in Dewsbury.


The Board was informed of the five linked programme strands being (i) Young People (ii) Venue Development (iii) Cultural Icons (iv) Health and Wellbeing and (v) Community Cohesion. Ms Webb gave an overview of the strands which included events, performances, workshops, and summits.


The Board was advised that to date, through a variety of different Taking the Lead funded projects, the team had put creative activity into 22 different venues across Dewsbury, both indoor and outdoor in commercial and community spaces.  This included 127 workshops, 13 talks, 37 performances and one exhibition with a total of 8,000 beneficiaries creating over 200 days of paid work in Dewsbury for artists and creative businesses.


Looking forward, Ms Webb outlined future events such as lunchtime concerts with free tickets for schools, BBC Proms visiting Dewsbury in August, international artists DJ Yoda and Anna Meredith performing in October 2023 and jazz educator Anita Wardell appearing at Dewsbury Town Hall in September.


In terms of marketing, the Board noted that 20,000 A5 summer ‘what’s on’ brochures were produced with 6,000 being distributed door to door and being placed in 124 council buildings and commercial venues in Dewsbury, Cleckheaton and Batley.


The Board was advised of key events in the next six months being: -


1)    Sunday 6th August BBC Proms 3pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

2)    Saturday 9th September String Quartet at The Arcade for Heritage Open Days 11am onwards

3)    Friday 22nd September AWQ 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

4)    Friday 6th October Eight Grade with Live Soundtrack and Anna Meredith Q&A 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

5)    Saturday 7th October DJ Yoda’s Tarantino AV Show 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

6)    Saturday 14th October YSWN performance @ The Terrace (TBC)

7)    Tuesday 12th December Songs for the Season Finale Event 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall


In conclusion, Ms Webb reminded the Board of her request for a Board Member to judge the creation of a winter songbook for Kirklees alongside musicians Ellie Sax, Rachel Modest and Director of Musica Kirklees - Thom Meredith culminating in a concert on 12 December 2023.


The Board discussed how to amplify what had been accomplished to date to encompass a wider audience. It was agreed that working collaboratively with existing cultural organisations such as the Bradford Literary Festival would bring wider audiences to Dewsbury.




1)    That Ms Webb be thanked for her presentation and update.

2)    That Board Members consider  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Communication and Marketing Update 5:35 - 5:40

Keith Ramsay, Chair – Dewsbury Town Deal Board.


RESOLVED – That the Communication and Marketing Update be considered at the next meeting of the Board in September 2023.


Town Deal Update 5:40 - 5:45

Contact:         Simon Taylor, Head of Town Centre Programmes,

Michelle Illingworth, ER Project Officer – Dewsbury Town Investment Plan.


Michelle Illingworth, Economic Resilience Project Officer updated the Board on the Town Deal Conference that she attended along with Simon Taylor, Head of Town Centre Programmes. 


Ms Illingworth explained that the conference had been an opportunity for officers to meet with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and other areas with Town Deals.  The Board heard that Dewsbury were not in isolation in relation to project delivery and costs, with many Town Deal areas experiencing increasing construction costs and delay.


The Board was advised that DLUHC had offered to provide support to Board’s if required.




1)    That Ms Illingworth be thanked for her update.

2)    That the Market be scheduled to be considered at the September meeting of the Board.


Project Update 5:45 - 5:55 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Contact: Michelle Illingworth, ER Project Officer – Dewsbury Town Investment Plan.

Additional documents:


Officers attending the meeting to update the Board on the projects.


In relation to the market, Joanne Bartholomew advised the Board that a report would be brought to the September meeting outlining proposals including cost viability and delivery timescales. 


The Daisy Hill project was progressing with several ongoing acquisitions, although nothing further to update following on from the update at May’s Board meeting. Ms Bartholomew reiterated that the project should not be rushed and advised that there was a set of master planning considerations such as the viability of potential developments to work through.  Thomas Fish, Strategic Partnership Lead explained that the focus of attention was on the key acquisitions that were adjacent to the ones already owned to de-risk the future of those.  Mr Fish advised that conversations were taking place with Historic England, Homes England and the Combined Authority to help identify and accelerate funding for housing led schemes.


Mr Duffill explained that officers had met the builders involved in the Fieldhouse project with it almost ready to commence.  In response to questions from the Board about when the project would begin, Ms Bartholomew advised that there was some level of bureaucracy to satisfy the government with different funding streams being blended which required different legal agreements.  Due to the amount of money being invested into the property, this was quite an involved process to get the legal agreements aligned.  It was also noted that the increasing construction industry costs played a factor.  Peter Thompson, Economic Project Officer confirmed that there was just one issue to be resolved, and once that was resolved and principle agreements were signed off, the project would commence.  The target was still to be on site this year.




1)    That officers be thanked for the updates.

2)    That the market project be considered at the September meeting of the Board.


Chairs Update 5:55 - 6:00

Keith Ramsay – Chair, Dewsbury Town Deal Board.


The Chair advised the Board that it was hoped they would host Dehanna Davidson, the Parliamentary Secretary for DLUHC on a visit to Dewsbury on 16 June 2023, who would have taken a tour of the projects.  Unfortunately, she had to withdraw from that visit.  However, Mark Eastwood MP was hoping to get the government minister to visit Dewsbury and look at the projects.


The Chair wanted on behalf of the Board to congratulate the Arcade Team in getting the grant from HLF and wish them ‘Bon Voyage’ on their journey.


Date of Next Meeting

28 September 2023

16 November 2023


For Terms of Reference please visit



28 September 2023

16 November 2023



Exclusion of the Public

To resolve that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.


RESOLVED - That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.


Terms of Reference 6:00 - 6:10

To consider exempt information in relation to Agenda item 7.


The Board considered exempt information in relation to agenda item 7.


Communication and Marketing Update 6:10 - 6:20

To consider exempt information in relation to Agenda item 10.


The Board considered exempt information in relation to agenda item 10.


Project Update 6:20 - close

To consider exempt information in relation to Agenda item 12.


The Board considered exempt information in relation to agenda item 12.