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The client

Kirklees Council is the local authority for the metropolitan borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England, delivering a wide range of local government services. It is an integral member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which comprises five constituent entities.

The challenge

Dewsbury, a historic market and mill town, boasts striking architecture reflecting its prosperous past. Facing economic and reputational challenges, compounded by COVID-19, Dewsbury aims to unlock its potential by leveraging its diverse communities and strategic location.

The town’s Blueprint, along with the Towns Fund, charts a path for regeneration, while its UNESCO city of music designation promises to act as a catalyst to revitalise the image of the town, attract new investment, and engage current and future residents in helping to shape a new future for Dewsbury.

?Dewsbury is the proud home of a young, diverse, and dynamic community – traditionally groups which are difficult to reach and involve in public consultations. 

The solution

Our approach included a strong digital element, multiple language options and a clear strategy to maximise the reach of our engagement activities.   ?

We invited residents to have their say on how funding should be used via a combination of digital and traditional engagement methods.  Our website and interactive map provided a central ‘hub’ for the consultation ( This was promoted through the media, the council and partners’ social media channels and through direct engagement with stakeholders.

?As a diverse community, the integrity of the consultation depended upon all segments of the community engaging with the process. We provided leaflets in several languages to ensure that all local communities were aware of the consultation. We invited local faith leaders to a virtual forum and encouraged them to share the consultation with their faith communities.

?We worked closely with local schools to establish digital focus groups, providing a forum for younger people in the town and shared the consultation on community Facebook groups, resulting in 77% of participants accessing the consultation via the social media platform.

The impact


Dewsbury households contacted


Responses received

The consultation received 502 responses, shaping the proposals outlined in the final Towns Fund bid.  Evidence of a robust consultation process was a mandatory part of the Town Investment Plan. The government recently granted approval for Kirklees’ Town Investment Plan, paving the way for exciting regeneration plans in Dewsbury.