Renovation of Dewsbury Arcade begins ahead of summer 2025 reopening

image source, Dewsbury Arcade

image caption, It is hoped that the renovated arcade, illustrated in an artist’s impression, will open to shoppers by the summer of 2025.

Work has begun to transform a Victorian arcade in West Yorkshire into a freestanding shopping centre.

The Grade II listed Dewsbury Arcade has been a feature of the town for 125 years but closed in 2016.

Kirklees Council bought the building in 2020 and hoped to reopen it by summer 2025 as a community-run facility.

The arcades would have 16 small shops, four larger retail spaces and six upstairs studios suitable for artists, office or event space.

Kirklees Council’s strategic director for growth and regeneration, David Shepherd, said the project “brings a piece of Dewsbury’s history back to life”.

The refurbishment was funded with £4.5m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as money from the government, council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said the total cost of the project would be £10.3 million.

“Hard Journey”

A council spokesman said its aim is to populate the hall with “a range of independent local traders, along with a new high-quality food and drink offer”.

Arcade Group co-founder Chris Hill added: “Raising the money to deal with the structural decline of the arcade has been a tough journey, but our community business can now move on to the next stage – finding the tenants people want to see in arcades and working to draw businesses and shoppers back downtown.”