Your memories can shape the future of the ‘new’ Dewsbury

Your memories can shape the future of the ‘new’ Dewsbury

DEWSBURY folk are being called on to share their memories of the town centre as it used to be – to try to shape its future for generations to come.

Historic England and Kirklees Council are involved in a partnership that is seeking a wide range of local people’s recollections as part of a Historic Area Assessment.

The assessment forms part of the work currently being undertaken through the Heritage Action Zone scheme.

Earlier this year, the two organisations announced the Dewsbury Living Market Town Heritage Action Zone, which is one of 20 Heritage Action Zones nationwide and aims to promote heritage-related regeneration projects. 

Officially launched in May and running for the next five years, Dewsbury’s Heritage Action Zone seeks to improve the condition of run-down and neglected buildings by bringing them back into use as housing, community or commercial spaces.

Many long-time residents will understand the town is unrecognisable from the days before the building of the Princess of Wales precinct on what was the old bus station, plus the pedestrianisation of Market Place.

Trevor Mitchell, planning director for Historic England Yorkshire, said: “We’re really hoping that people will share their memories of Daisy Hill and tell us what it means to them.

“We would love to hear stories that have been passed down through generations and to see photos and mementoes that will help us get a better understanding of the place. This will be invaluable in developing proposals for reviving the area.”

As a first phase of the Dewsbury Heritage Action Zone, Historic England has commissioned a Historic Area Assessment study to improve understanding of the historical origins, development, changing fortunes and condition of the Westgate/Daisy Hill and Bond Street/Croft Street area to the west of the marketplace. Land Use Consultants have been appointed to carry out the Historic Area Assessment and alongside the HAZ team are interested in collecting people’s views and memories about the streets and buildings in Dewsbury.

It will form part of the HAA, which will also focus on how the town has developed over time, and why it is important both historically and to the people who use it. 

People who want to contribute can email their memories and photos of the town to michelle.

illingworth@kirklees.gov.uk, or material can be posted to Michelle Illingworth, Dewsbury Town Hall, Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury, WF12 8DG.

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