A VALENTINE’S fair last Saturday attracted shoppers into Dewsbury town centre.
There were about 25 stalls in The Arcade selling crafts, jewellery, cards and homemade chutney.
Exhibitor Sam Hirst, of gift shop Sama Flora, said: “It went really well. There were a lot of new faces.”
She added Dewsbury seems to have bounced back from a Britain First protest on January 30.
Sam said of trade that day: “The town was really quiet, which was to be expected, but it was only for that weekend.”
Efforts at The Arcade by community group Dewsbury Pioneers include turning a unit into a space called The Hive.
On Wednesday afternoon, market day in Dewsbury, only a few shoppers were to be seen around Foundry Street.
A shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, said trade was down over the last year and suggested that free parking would help.
She said: “Free parking, even if it was only on Wednesdays and Fridays, would drag many more people into town.”
The focus now is on finding an anchor tenant for the Pioneer House development and sorting out derelict buildings on the corner of Westgate and Daisy Hill.
A trader said of the former Continental Cafe premises: “I don’t know how that saga will ever be resolved.
“The owners at the time had structural surveyors in who said the building was beyond economic repair. But the council refused the demolition order.
“So what’s going to happen there? The buildings have been left shrouded in scaffolding for at least the last four years.”