Agenda item

Project Updates 4:25 - 4:35

To consider the following updates:

a.    Arcade

b.    Market

c.    Urban Realm/Town Park

d.    Cultural Events


Contact: Michelle Illingworth, Economic Resilience Project Officer,  

               Dewsbury Town Investment Plan,

               Jaime Nelson, Acting Head of Culture and Tourism,

               Peter Thomson, Economic Resilience Project


The Board received an update on the Market and Town Park project, Simon Taylor, Head of Town Centre programmes advised that agreement had taken place with Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) regarding the revised business case on the Market and Town Park and were supporting the changes. It was agreed that the Board would transfer money from the Cultural Hub project to the Arcade project, a revised business case had been submitted to DLUHC and was awaiting a final decision, although they were satisfied it was robust, a date of 2nd February was given for a final sign off.  Once the decision has been made, Heritage lottery fund would then need to grant permission to start, which would not happen until they were satisfied that all other funding was in place.  It was noted that the Council was running the contract process in parallel, with a conclusion in place with legal. Work would then start once the contract had been awarded. 

Peter Mason, Board Member advised the Board that Field House had started a strip out, with the main contract starting 18th March 2024.


Jaime Nalson, Acting Head of Culture and Tourism updated the Board on progress within the Market project, around trading engagement sessions, programme design and plans in relation to the decamp market. Two trader engagement sessions had taken place where traders had been invited to look at the vision, talk through the application process to be part of the future market and provide feedback on the design of the decamp market. Further plans to consult with traders was planned around layout and spaces. It was noted that the leases with the traders had expired in December 2023, but most traders had renewed their lease for the next two years. The applications for leases of the new market were now open to all traders to apply for a period of three weeks and would close on 4th February 2024.  The application review process would commence week commencing 19th February 2024.


Mr Nalson advised that the market programme was at phase two design stage where a pre planning application was to be submitted in early March 2024, the full planning application was then to be submitted between March and May 2024.  Feedback from traders had been received, with further work taking place to review the public toilets, multi-purpose space for cultural requirements, cleaning stores, pot wash area and refuge yard. A number of meetings had taken place regarding the lighting requirements in the food and beverage and event space, and the decamp market trader engagement had commenced, which allowed designs to be finalised. The key focus of the engagement was around the design, and what was wanted within the market, a real focus was on quality, ensuring the provision and offer from traders.


During discussion the Board questioned the dates around the Market project, a breakdown of dates was requested. Joanne Bartholomew, Service Director advised that dates could be provided should the planning and tender stage go to plan and would be provided at the meeting in March 2024. It was noted that the timescales proposed to spend the £11m may not be met and there were concerns that the project was not deliverable. Ms Bartholomew advised that DLUHC was aware that the money would not be spent within the timescale set for spending, but they had indicated to the Board that there would be a conversation once it was clear on the spending profile.  It was noted that officers were not worried that they wouldn’t be able to have a good conversation with DLUHC on profiling.


The Board raised concerns with regards to a planning application not required for the public realm, Mr Taylor advised that planning consent may not be required as it fell under the realm of permitted development. A lawful development certificate would likely be submitted to confirm that opinion.


With regards to the building revival project, the Board asked a question around the number of live projects, and the number of new housing units to be provided. Mr Taylor advised that some of the projects had been completed and plans had not been agreed on the number of units.


Board members expressed concern on the delivery of the construction skills hub around the planning application, it was noted that the project looked to be at risk.  Ms Bartholomew advised that there was no other option for the project and that the project was contingent on the planning application. Mr Taylor advised that the college and council were looking at a plan B, which would be brought to a Board meeting if feasible. The Chair of the Board agreed to consider the item at the March 2024 meeting.


The Board asked for an update on the creative culture programme to understand how the project was meeting tough original outputs around nighttime economy, footfall, and the timeline, as it seemed that the focus of the project had changed from the original timeline. A report had been circulated to the Board prior to the meeting which provided clarity on what had been delivered, how many people engaged, footfall capacity and indication on projects that had happened between January 2023 and December 2023.  The report also provided a continuation of events up to July 2024. A suggestion was made that some money from the long-term plan could be used to boost further cultural type activities to increase footfall over the summer months.



    (i)        That dates around the Market project be provided at the March 2024 meeting,

  (ii)        That a report on the construction skills hub be considered at the March 2024 meeting.


Supporting documents: