Plan to move Dewsbury landmark - but residents fear it's a no-go area

The bandstand in Dewsbury town centre
-Credit: (Image: Kirklees Council)


A Dewsbury landmark could soon be moving to Crow Nest Park as part of a major regeneration project.

If plans get the go-ahead, the bandstand in the centre of the town will be relocating after more than 10 years in its current location at the Memorial Gardens on Longcauseway. The move comes as part of Dewsbury’s blueprint project in a bid to reduce crime and improve the area around the town hall.

Crow Nest Park was named as a potential new home for the bandstand and an application to bring it to the historic park has since been submitted to Kirklees Council. The park already has a purpose-built raised platform, as it boasted its own bandstand until the 1960s.

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According to the planning documents, the bandstand, which is currently blue, could also be taking on a "more historic" colour upon moving to its new location. Among the suggestions are dark green and gold, or red.

Bandstand, Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury, 1910
Bandstand, Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury, 1910 -Credit:Kirklees Council archives

However, members of the public who have responded to the application have voiced their concerns. One resident said: “I fail to see how this proposal makes any sense. There are no acceptable toilet facilities, seating arrangements or refreshment venues near to the proposed location. In addition, the park is a no-go area for many people, due to antisocial behaviour.

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“Now that the ill-thought out town centre park has been approved, surely it would make more sense to leave the bandstand in-situ, or relocate it within the town centre park, and where toilets, seating and refreshment facilities already exist."

Another added: “I’ve not had sight of costs for these plans but I’m sure it won’t be cheap. My objection is this money could be better spent in maintaining or repairing existing graded buildings that would provide a wider use for the people of Kirklees.

“One example is the current state of Cleckheaton Town Hall that if repaired would provide an excellent facility for bands and other public events. I would ask Kirklees to reconsider this plan based on better use of funding."

The application documents say the move would offer several advantages including preserving the stand as a community asset, making use of a vacant bandstand base in the park and providing a centrepiece for the park.

Artist's impression of public realm outside Dewsbury Town Hall and the Walsh Building, featuring new greenery and seating, and one possible design for the rail-themed central amphitheatre.
Artist's impression of public realm outside Dewsbury Town Hall and the Walsh Building, featuring new greenery and seating, and one possible design for the rail-themed central amphitheatre. -Credit:Kirklees Council

A target date for a decision to be made on the application has been set for July 2.

Among the other plans for the area around Dewsbury Town Hall is the construction of a new public space complete with an amphitheatre, greenery and seating. This will initially cover Longcauseway, Wakefield Old Road and Town Hall Way, with the amphitheatre serving as a focal point.

The council says that the improvements will make the area more attractive, inviting and safer, also driving more footfall throughout the day. On top of this, changes are proposed for parking and pedestrianisation, with one of the council’s aims being to introduce more accessible parking spaces close to the civic buildings and town centre shops.

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