Category Archives: Community

Mixenden Hub Takes Further Step Forward

A major project contributing to the regeneration of North Halifax has reached a key milestone, with the construction contractor being announced for the Mixenden Community Hub scheme.

Following a thorough tender process, Calderdale Council has appointed Code Building Solutions to build the Hub.

This project is part of the wider Strategic Plan for North Halifax, reflecting the Council’s commitment to investing in the area in line with its priority for thriving towns and places across Calderdale. The project complements several major improvement schemes that are already underway, and further significant investment planned for North Halifax.

Mixenden Community Hub will provide a range of facilities all on one site, including:

• A Primary Care Network Hub for North Halifax to deliver community healthcare services, in addition to the existing nearby GP surgery and supported by the Calderdale Cares Partnership
• A shop or office space for rent
• A community garden
• A library with easy-to-access facilities, advice and IT equipment in a modern, welcoming environment.

The Hub will be a focal point for the local community, improving access to services and opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in spring 2023 and will ensure that the building performs to a high environmental standard. Features such as the community garden and systems to collect and slowly release rainwater will help with flood resilience and biodiversity, supporting Calderdale’s climate action priority.

Councillor Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, said: “We look forward to working with Code Building Solutions on Mixenden Community Hub, to take forward our long-standing ambition for this important regeneration scheme.”

“The Council is investing in a vibrant future for North Halifax, as part of our priority for thriving towns and places with new and improved services for local communities.”

“The Hub will be a place where people can look after their health and wellbeing, learn, relax and socialise – supporting our Vision 2024 for Calderdale to help people achieve their potential and live a larger life.”

Paul O’Hare, Director of Code Building Solutions, added: “We’re very proud to have secured the project with Calderdale Council and we are looking forward to getting the construction underway, but more importantly getting it completed for the use of the local community.”

The investment in North Halifax is part of the Next Chapter for Calderdale to enable economic growth, reduce inequalities and build a sustainable future. For more information about this and other exciting developments in Calderdale, visit here and follow #CdaleNextChapter on Twitter.

New Community Box At Bradford Bulls

In partnership with West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Bulls are delighted to officially open their ‘Community Box’ – situated in the Sekhon Group Stand at Odsal Stadium.

The Community Box will be attended by 10 children each game and hosted by West Yorkshire Police, these are children who would not normally get the chance to attend and watch the Bulls.

This community based initiative brings together local businesses who have funded the community box where children and young people can come together to enjoy the match day experience. The partnership also sees the police Early Help teams working with the Bradford Bulls on matchdays providing refreshments, support and safe environments following successful engagement with local support services.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Farrell of Bradford District Police said:
“The initiative came as part of our wider commitment to neighbourhood policing in South Bradford, working closely with wider partnerships seeking to identify early intervention opportunities for children and young people preventing them getting involved with crime and Anti-Social behaviour.”

“Through positive engagements with the on track programme, young people are rewarded for taking part and they can now see how sport can provide positive lifestyle choices.”

“I am grateful for the support or Arif and Safeer, local business owners who have provided the funding for this initiative and the continued engagement and willingness to deliver an effective partnership from Joe Pitts as commercial director and Tracy Erby as general manager. The partnership is continuing to flourish as we seek to build on this with the Bradford Bulls foundation working with the chief executive, Chris Chamberlain as part of the longer term community intervention work.”

Judith Cummins, South Bradford MP said: “I would like to congratulate everybody for coming together, great to see a positive initiative with Bradford businesses, Bradford Bulls, West Yorkshire Police and Bradford police coming together to make a real difference investing in the future of young people, it is really positive.”

Chris Chamberlain, Bradford Bulls Foundation Chief Executive said:
“This is a massive opportunity that we really welcome, using sport as a tool to engage with young people to make a positive difference in Bradford. These partnerships are really welcome and we look forward to developing this moving forward.”

We would like to place on record our thanks to Smorgasbord Coffee Bar (Arif Mehmood) and International Restaurant (Safeer Khan) for their contribution to this partnership.

Planning Permission Granted For Country Park

Rotherham Council’s Rother Valley Country Park is set to benefit from improvements on site following planning permission being approved.

This news follows planning permission also being received for the £2.5 million development of a new café building at the Council’s Thrybergh Country Park. Both projects are part of a £20 million investment in leisure, economy and skills in Rotherham that the Council secured through the Levelling Up Fund. £5.5 million is committed to Rother Valley Country Park and £2.5 million to Thrybergh Country Park.

At Rother Valley, new facilities will include the development of a waterfront café with impressive views across the main lake. It will feature both indoor and outdoor seating with a first-floor events space available for events and meetings. Improvements to parking facilities and a relocated cycle hub will be complemented by a high-quality landscaping scheme to enhance the visitor experience including a new play area. The existing café in the courtyard will be adapted as a “grab and go” outlet.

The development further improves facilities for visitors at the popular park, with Gulliver’s Valley Resort and Waleswood Caravan and Camping Park as neighbours.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Councillor David Sheppard, said: “It’s fantastic to see the planned improvements to the facilities at Rother Valley and Thrybergh Country Parks which will develop the sites into a more attractive destination for visitors. Once the works are completed, the venues will support year-round events and provide a wide range of fun activities for people to take part in.”

“We’re aiming to grow Rotherham’s leisure industry and expand economic opportunity for our residents, so that they can advance their skills and realise their ambitions.”

Works for both schemes are due to start later in the year.

Council Supports Projects Through Prosperity Fund

Hull City Council is delighted to announce it has been able to support a host of local organisations in the first round of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

In total, £1.1m was distributed between 29 projects which were the recipients of funding ranging from £4,000 to £100,000. The council invited groups to apply last autumn and received numerous applications for round one of the grants.

The successful projects range from local businesses, social enterprises, voluntary and community sector groups and the public sector giving access to training, volunteering, improved community facilities and increased access to arts, festivals, and cultural activities.

Delivery of the schemes began earlier this year and are due to be completed by 31 March.

Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, said: “I am very happy that we can support these local projects with grants from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.”

“It’s good to know that these projects are now in a position to come to fruition thanks to the council’s support and I look forward to seeing the final outcomes.”

The UKSPF is a key part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Its funding aims to promote high quality skills training, supporting pay, employment and productivity growth and increasing life chances.

It supports the delivery of economic improvements in Hull aligned to the government’s Levelling Up Programme, which has three main priorities: communities and place, supporting local business and people and skills.

Round two of the UKSPF sees a further £5m being made available for use between April 2023 and March 2025.

New Community Woodland Set To Be Created

A new community woodland is set to be created in Dinnington. Funding has been secured to create a new community woodland off Athorpe Road in Dinnington, where 7,700 young trees are set to be planted on former grazing land.

The woodland will be named the Queen Elizabeth II Community Woodland, as a tribute to Her Late Majesty and her Platinum Jubilee Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

This project has been supported by the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership and will be funded through the Woodland Trust’s Grow Back Greener programme, as part of the Northern Forest.

The new woodland will be a space for the community. The design reflects this with walkways and space provided for sledging days over the winter months.

Biodegradable tree guards will protect the newly planted tree whips and this will ensure that there is no plastic waste on the site.

Work has already taken place to prepare the site. Children from Laughton All Saints CofE Primary School took part in a litter pick day recently.

A community planting day will take place on Saturday 25 February from 10.30am to 3pm. This will be a drop-in session and local residents are encouraged to come along. Gloves and spades will be provided on the day. The meeting point will be off Athorpe Road (opposite Tesco car park).

Planting days with schools and community groups are also set to take place over the coming months.

The Council has made a commitment to achieve net zero by 2030 and is investing in staff, resources and schemes to contribute towards achieving this target.

As part of the Council’s pledge to tackle climate change, a target has been set to plant 10,500 trees in Rotherham every year for the next 10 years. Last year, the Council exceeded the target and planted 22,139 trees in the borough.

Councillor David Sheppard, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion at Rotherham Council, said: “Climate change is an important issue and as a Council we are taking steps to respond to the climate emergency.”

“The Queen Elizabeth II Community Woodland forms part of our efforts to create a greener and cleaner local environment for residents.
“There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved in this exciting project, including a planting day, which is set to take place later this month.”

Matt North, Programme Manager at the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership, said: “We work with public and private landowners to develop and fund woodland creation that’s of benefit for people and wildlife. We really enjoyed working with council officers designing a woodland that will be a home for nature that the public can enjoy.”

“It’s fantastic to see the local community being able to take part in helping create and care for this significant project in Dinnington.”

Celebrations For Anne Lister’s Birthday Festival

Organisations across Calderdale and the wider West Yorkshire region are coming together to celebrate the life, loves and legacy of Shibden Hall’s most famous resident, Anne Lister.

The famous landowner, entrepreneur, mountaineer, scholar, traveller, and lesbian, Anne Lister was born in Halifax on 3 April 1791. To celebrate the anniversary of her birth, Calderdale Council is supporting a packed programme of events as part of the Anne Lister Birthday Festival.

The festival runs from Monday 27 March until Monday 3 April and includes over 70 events, ranging from walks, talks, lectures, painting workshops. The full programme and how to buy tickets is available here. Some events have already sold out, so fans are encouraged to book as soon as possible.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said: “The life and legacy of Anne Lister continues to inspire, and we’re delighted to be able to present a full programme of events to celebrate this extraordinary woman.”

“The incredible success of Sally Wainwright’s, Gentleman Jack brought Anne’s story to a wider audience and we’re expecting visitors from across the world to festival events and Calderdale’s cultural venues.”

“Some events have already sold out and we’ve had a lot of interest, particularly from the USA. In fact, we’re already expecting over 300 people to make the trip from the states to Calderdale for Anne’s birthday.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said: “Screen tourism is increasingly important to Calderdale’s visitor economy and the ongoing popularity of the borough as a filming location is bringing further tourism benefits to the area.”

“Gentleman Jack has been a cultural phenomenon and has inspired many visitors to come and walk in Anne’s footsteps and experience our vibrant towns and villages for themselves.”

“The Anne Lister Birthday Festival is an opportunity to explore the places she knew, lived in and visited, and to learn more about her life with new and exclusive events.”

In addition to individual events, Shibden Hall, which was Anne’s home and is the focus of the BBC drama series ‘Gentleman Jack’, will be open daily throughout the festival. Tickets must be booked in advance here, where you can also confirm opening times.

Halifax Minster, where Anne worshipped and was baptised and buried, will also be open every day throughout the festival.

Special events are being held at Bankfield Museum, Halifax Central Library, The Piece Hall and Dean Clough. A special hop-on, hop-off shuttle bus is running throughout the festival, from Halifax town centre to Shibden Hall, Bankfield Museum and Dean Clough on a loop throughout the day.

More information about the festival and other attractions and events happening around the borough, as well as details of where to stay and what to do in Calderdale, is available here

Maritime Community Grant Benefits For Hull

Photo Credit: Festival Of The Sea with Mambo Jambo by Paul J Cunningham.

Hull Maritime has handed out more than £20,000 in grants to support local community groups to deliver maritime themed projects to communities across the city.

The second round of Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme launched in October and received a record number of applications from community groups and residents in Hull and surrounding areas.

Micro grants of up to £500 and small grants of up to £2,000 were available in three categories: Heritage, Environment, and Wellbeing, reflecting important and timely themes and drawing links between our maritime past, present and future.

The first round in 2022, awarded eight projects with funding and included a new sculpture by Art You Experienced, created from community litter picks along the river Hull; helping the Beverley Barge Preservation Society to bring the historic Syntan to Hull Marina and take part in the Queen’s Jubilee Flotilla; and funding to provide information boards to accompany the Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial which is being installed on St Andrew’s Quay.

The latest round has awarded thirteen grants and includes:

  • Tamar and Jo for a community dance project culminating in performances at Edinburgh Street Community Centre in July 2023.
  • Mambo Jambo to co-create a podcast with young people at Ron Dearing UTC and West Hull Community Radio, focused on maritime issues.
  • Twelve Tribes of Yorkshire for a community history project and exhibitions exploring the stories and experiences of local African and Caribbean seafarers.
  • Lauren Saunders for a creative wellbeing course focused on our relationships to water and the maritime environment, to be delivered in partnership with NHS Humber Recovery and Wellbeing College.
  • Three Ways East for a project exploring maritime identity and storytelling through tattoos, using photography, creative works, and exhibitions.
  • Rooted in Hull for a maritime-themed arts, music, and culture event (and associated workshops) in June 2023.
  • Hull Bullnose Heritage Group to support their research on fishermen and trawling histories, focused on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Fantastic Faces for a collaborative maritime mural to be created within Pearson Park.
  • The People Project for a photography exhibition of sixty portraits and stories relating to Hull’s fishing heritage communities.
  • St Giles Scout Group for a maritime-themed day trip to Hull city centre, taking place in April 2023.
  • The Headscarf Revolutionaries Statue Management Committee to hold four consultation workshops across the city in July and August 2023.
  • Friends of Garrowby Orchard to create interpretation panels for Setting Dyke Community Greenspace, exploring the site’s historic role in flood defences and the future of blue-green spaces.
  • Alex Hunt to work with young people to co-create a mural dedicated to women’s histories of maritime Hull, in partnership with Bankside Gallery.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The latest round of the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme has had an exceptional response, with a range of creative projects led by our residents covering a vast range of themes including storytelling, dance and music, art, exhibitions, and exciting events.”

“The selected projects will connect our communities with our maritime past, present and future, support skill development and improve wellbeing, as well as helping people to learn more about our city.”

Lauren Saunders, one of the recipients of a community grant, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this community grant, to be part of the Hull Maritime story and to be working with Recovery College students.”

Future rounds of the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme will take place later in the year.

Hull Maritime is funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, it encompasses the redevelopment of five historic sites in Hull city centre.

Plan To Improve Local Housing Set To Be Agreed

A new Housing Plan that sets out how Wakefield Council will improve local housing is due to be agreed by senior councillors.

The new plan details what action will be taken to provide residents with homes that meet their needs over the next three years, from now until 2026.

It will replace the previous one that ended last year and has been updated to ensure it can meet the current challenges faced by local communities, such as the rise in living costs and home improvements that contribute towards reducing the effects of climate change.

There are twelve priorities outlined in the plan, chosen because they will have the greatest impact on people’s lives. They were agreed following a public consultation during which a wide range of views were received on what the proposed plan should contain.

Under the plan, housing-led regeneration projects across the district will continue, including 2,600 new homes to be built in east Wakefield, as part of the City Fields Masterplan.

The plan includes using the Public Rented Sector Scheme and working closely with private developers and Registered Providers to increase the number of affordable new homes.

The Council will work with its partners and developers through the planning process to improve the quality and design of new homes.

Owners of private rented properties will be targeted to ensure tenants live in homes that are safe and healthy.

An assessment of the housing market has highlighted that specialist housing need, whether for physical or mental disability, will increase significantly over the next 15 years. The housing plan proposes a number of measures that would create accommodation suitable for people living with a disability.

To tackle the risk of people losing their homes or going into debt because of higher energy bills the Council has committed to providing advice and support to help people cope.

The Energy Debt Fund will offer grants to those struggling to pay their bills and training will be offered to those who need it on managing household budgets through the Money Smart scheme.

The Council will continue to support residents to save energy, reduce their bills and carbon emissions with energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement schemes.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is important that all our residents are given the chance to live in high quality housing, as it gives them a secure base from which to live and work in the district.
“Equally important, at this time, is the economic turmoil we are facing and the impact that is having on people who used to be able to comfortably afford to rent or own their home. Our proposed plan is aimed at helping them too.”

The report before Cabinet also reflects on the achievements of the previous Housing Plan, from 2019-2022. They include:

  • 4,482 new homes completed
  • 424 empty properties brought back into use through a combination of support and enforcement action
  • 1,271 private rented sector hazards removed through reactive and proactive partnership building and enforcement action
  • £5m grant funding secured to deliver fuel poverty support schemes
  • Key Council owned sites being developed for affordable housing at Farm Lane, Chantry, and Castleford Baths.

Cllr Jeffery added: “Our previous plan has made a lasting impact on people’s lives. It was achieved during one of the most difficult times this country has faced, due to the effects of Brexit, the Covid pandemic, followed by economic uncertainty.”

“We’ve made encouraging progress and have developed strong and effective partnerships but recognise that we need to do more for our residents.”

Cabinet will meet on Tuesday 14 February at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live or later on the Council’s website.

New Competition Launched To Celebrate Neurodiversity

Hull City Council will be marking Neurodiversity Celebration Week by inviting young people in Hull to take part in a creative competition that celebrates neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week takes place from 13-19 March. It’s a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about autism and learning disabilities.

The competition has been held in partnership with Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd and the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank. It will be judged by a panel including Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Kalvin Neal, local artist and entrepreneur Robert Briggs, student author Luke Garner and entrepreneur Tony Robinson OBE.

The initiative aims to encourage schools to recognise the strengths and talents of young people who are neurodivergent, who think and learn differently, including students who are autistic, dyslexic, or have dyspraxia, dyscalculia or ADHD. It also hopes to help recognise the contribution made by people who are neurodivergent in the workplace and those running their own businesses.

People who, for instance, have dyslexia can be good at problem-solving and focusing on the wider picture, so many people who have dyslexia make great business leaders. Many entrepreneurs consider themselves neurodivergent and it is reported that 20% of the UK’s business self-starters are neurodivergent and 35% of company founders in America consider themselves dyslexic.

The competition challenges young people aged 25 and under in Hull, to produce an image to illustrate at least one of the conditions that come under the neurodiversity banner. Young people and schools can then submit them to Hull City Council and post them on their social media accounts, using the hashtags #NeuroDiversityWeek and #HullNDW23 #NCWeek #NCWeek23.

Last year’s winners came from Northcott School, Chiltern Primary School, St Mary’s College, Oakfield School, as well as a young entrepreneur Georgia Wormald of Fairytale Face Paints.

The judging panel will be chaired by Councillor Rob Pritchard, who will choose the individual three winners. They will receive cash prizes and the educational establishment with the overall best entries will receive £250 from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank to go towards celebrating next year’s Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

The winners will have afternoon tea with the Lord Mayor and have their images exhibited.

Councillor Rob Pritchard Cabinet Member for Communities said: “As a person with dyslexia myself, I am delighted to be chairing the judging panel for this competition to celebrate Neurodiversity Week 2023. I’m looking forward to seeing some great entries from the young people of Hull.”

“At Hull City Council, we believe it is important to raise awareness and encourage openness around neurodiversity. We recognise that as an employer ourselves, we must create an awareness as to the benefits and strengths of neurodiversity in the workplace. We are also delighted to be working with Neurodiversity in Business so that we can become a neurodiverse-friendly employer and service provider.”

Tony Robinson OBE, Microbusiness Champion and Patron of John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank said: “As a person with dyspraxia, I am delighted that the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank are sponsoring this competition to honour Neurodiversity Celebration Week, especially as the founder is neurodivergent.”

“Many leading entrepreneurs including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Lord Sugar, Anita Roddick, Jamie Oliver and IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad are neurodiverse, clearly showing that it is no hindrance to success. “

“Together we can celebrate all those in our community who are neurodiverse, after all we are human as well and deserve reasonable adjustment.”

Neurodiversity Celebration Week has over 1,400 schools and 685,000 students worldwide signed up to celebrate through themed events, guest speakers and raising awareness. The week is endorsed by over 20 charities and hundreds of businesses and organisations also take part, including the Stock Exchange, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy, Deloitte, Savills and AstraZeneca, as well as local authorities like Hull City Council.

Entrants can email their submissions to

Alternatively, they can be posted to:

FAO Charles Cracknell
Neuro Diversity Celebration Week Competition
Hull City Council
Guildhall (Room 22D)
Alfred Gelder Street

The competition will close on Tuesday 14 March and judging will take place on Friday 17 March.

Huge Bridge Beams Lifted Into Place

Two huge cranes, one weighing over 1000 tonnes, have been used to lift beams into place as part of a new bridge spanning the Calder and Hebble navigation, around Salterhebble, near Halifax.

Eight beams, 48 metres long, three metres wide and weighing over 250 tonnes in total, have been guided into position using the two cranes. They form part of a new bridge and link road between the A629, Calderdale Way and Stainland Road.

The beams being used are so huge, they had to be delivered to the construction site under movement order and a police escort, which required parts of the M62 and A629 to be closed.

The bridge scheme is part of phase 1b of the A629 improvement programme, which is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It is one of the largest individual civil engineering project ever undertaken by Calderdale Council, with the road layout around the Salterhebble area being completely transformed.

The project aims to improve road safety and journey times between Huddersfield and Halifax and will also include improved facilities for pedestrians, public transport users and cyclists. Improving the efficiency of the A629 is forecast to reduce ‘rat-running’ through adjacent communities such as Elland, West Vale, Siddal, Exley, Copley and Skircoat. It’s all part of the wider investment in, and regeneration of, Calderdale as part of the Council’s priority to develop thriving towns and places.

The Council is working on the project in partnership with the contractor John Sisk & Son and work is progressing well. Major elements of the project are already nearing completion, including the reconfiguration of the Jubilee Road junction and new resident parking lay-by. The construction of new walls and stonework along the A629 Huddersfield Road is also close to completion and works are underway to prepare the land behind for landscaping.

The full phase 1b project is due to be completed in late 2023 / early 2024. Some elements will be open earlier, such as the new link bridge which is due to open to traffic in summer this year. Restrictions on traffic movement will also be removed as soon as possible during this year. Updates and frequently asked questions about the works can be found here.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Councillor Jane Scullion, said: “The bridge lift marks a major milestone in the progress of phase 1b of the A629 improvement project and I’d like to congratulate those involved in successfully completing the beam lift works. An engineering project of this scale requires an incredible amount of planning, not only to lift the extremely large and heavy beams, but also to manage the logistics of transporting them to the site.”

“Now the bridge structure is in place, we can see how the project will transform the landscape around the Calder and Hebble junction. As we reach the final year of the project, we’ll continue to see major changes which will ultimately create benefits for all transport users in the area and complement wider work around the borough, investment in our towns and our priority to create thriving places.”

Councillor Peter Carlill, deputy chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee said: “This is a colossal engineering project, and I am hugely impressed with the planning and work that has gone into this.”

“The scheme is so important for the people living in Calderdale and beyond, as it will help solve a bottleneck on the area’s roads, meaning the people living there will be safer.”

“We are pleased to see the scheme also includes improved access for those walking and cycling, as well as helping bus services to be more reliable with the reduced traffic.”

Sisk Managing Director, Dominic Hodges, said: “This is an important and exciting milestone for the project. Our team has worked very hard with Calderdale Council, our supply chain and numerous stakeholders to plan the logistics for this large-scale operation. It’s fantastic that all the hard work is now paying off.”

“Many people working on the project are local and feel proud to be involved in leaving such a legacy for the area.”

The A629 Phase 1b scheme has received over £28 million funding through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.