The Arcade Dewsbury
The Arcade in Dewsbury.
Jane Imrie

Not-for-profit eyes Victorian shopping arcade following £2.3m revamp

A community benefit company has expressed interest in taking over a Victorian shopping arcade in Dewsbury after it undergoes a multi-million pound refurbishment.

A newly formed not-for-profit group is seeking to run The Arcade in Dewsbury following Kirklees Council’s completion of a £2.3m refurbishment programme in 2022.

‘The Arcade - Dewsbury’ is aiming to become the preferred bidder to take on the lease at the Grade II-listed property of the same name.

Built in 1889, the Arcade closed in 2016 following a period of dwindling occupancy from local businesses.

Chris Hill, a community business specialist taken on by the council to project manage The Arcade, explained: “The Arcade in Dewsbury town centre means so much to so many people.

“The sad decline of this splendid Victorian building was a symbol of the decline of the town centre as a whole.

“In the same way the restoration of this fabulous building can herald the regeneration and rebirth of Dewsbury, making the town somewhere to be proud of once again.”

The Arcade - Dewsbury is planning a public launch of its plans in the spring. Chris added: “It is vitally important that we get the local community to buy into what we are doing.

“In fact if the community business is named preferred bidder by the council then local people can literally buy into The Arcade by buying a share in it. Shareholders would then elect a board of directors and it would be one member one vote, regardless of whether they own one share or several.”

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