Meet The Board
Meet The Board
The Todmorden Town Deal Board is made up of volunteers from the public, private (business) and community sectors – all of whom either live in or have close links with the area.
They are passionate and positive about the future of Todmorden and are working together to secure the investment funds available to forge a bright future for our town.
Cllr Silvia Dacre
CMBC Member - Co-Chair
Silvia is Co-Chair of the Board and has lived in Todmorden for over 20 years.
She has been a Ward Councillor for Todmorden since May 2019 and cabinet Member for Resources since August 2020.
In being a member of the new board, she wants to help in presenting a successful bid for the Towns Fund money in order to capitalise on Todmorden’s resilience, innovation, creativity, and community spirit to build a sustainable future for the benefit of existing residents and also to attract new residents and visitors.
Private Sector - Co-Chair
Tim is well known locally as a composer, particularly for his operas, which have toured the nation but have also appeared to popular acclaim at our very own Hippodrome.
He is also a technology entrepreneur, having founded and exited a successful tech start-up in the early 2000’s, and has worked with other start-ups since, in the fields of e-learning, publishing, and fintech. Furthermore, he’s a film and stage director.
He bridges the worlds of music, film, and technology in his work as a public speaker (he gave a TED talk on inspiration) and role as Chief Storyteller at Infinity Works, one of the country’s leading technology consultancies.
He serves as a trustee for an opera company and, in his spare time, he is a keen mountaineer.
Pam Warhurst CBE
Pam has lived in Todmorden for the past 40 years.
Over her career she has chaired a health food coop in the town, was the leader of Calderdale Council, chair of the local hospital trust and chaired and been a board member of national regional and local bodies including Yorkshire Forward and the Forestry Commission.
In 2008 she co-found Incredible Edible which went on to become a beacon internationally for grass root action around food and self-motivation.
“Todmorden is my home. It is where I brought up my daughter and where she in turn ran businesses in the town.
“The Deal is a huge opportunity for us all to see the sort of investment in the town that can create opportunity for enterprise to flourish and put Todmorden again on the map as a healthy happy place to live and play.”
Stephen has lived in the Upper Calder Valley for 20 years running a hospitality business and has been active in various community groups in both Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. As Chair of Upper Calder Valley Renaissance, he’s been involved in local initiatives including: flood research, business support, visitor economy, asset transfers and the revival of a local sports facility.
“This fund is a unique opportunity to revitalise the town, it allows us to draw on the many consultations which have taken place.
“It’s a challenge to local authorities, to facilitate meaningful collaboration with resident expertise, to create a townscape with facilities designated by local people.
Strategic collaboration will establish the town as a place, distinct from the wider identity often imposed on it. But we also have to improve its physical and economic connectivity with the economies of the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, Lancs. and Greater Manchester.
“We have to use this opportunity to attract additional inward investment to develop a sustainable economy with facilities for the community, businesses, and visitors. And we must provide skills development and training opportunities for all.”
Tony has a doctorate in engineering and is a fellow of the institute of mechanical engineers. He has held senior business leadership roles for over 15 years and is currently engineering director at Weir Minerals Europe based in Todmorden.
“I live locally, have a passion for the outdoors and have three young children at school in Todmorden.
“I joined the board to help create a better future for Todmorden and see the fund as a once in a lifetime opportunity to drive change.”
Community & Voluntary Sector
James was born in Todmorden in 1965 and has lived in the town for most of his life. He has a background in cognitive and social science and has worked in academic research and teaching, community advice work, and health informatics.
Before giving up office work and commuting in 2016 he was a manager of national-level projects at NHS Digital in Leeds. Since then he has become active in community enterprises, including the campaign to save and restore the bandstand in Centre Vale Park. He is a keen musician, climber, and cyclist.
“I joined the Town Deal Board because I wanted to help make the most of the opportunity offered by the Towns Fund. Todmorden has always been my home and I would love to see us all benefit from projects that will make the town a better place to live and work”
Community & Voluntary Sector
Andrew is a puppet maker, performer, and the director of Thingumajig Theatre whose puppets have performed throughout the UK and 15 other countries.
He is the founder and former director of Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade and Todmorden Lamplighter Festival.
He is a Todmorden resident and keen to help support the growth of community organisations, independent businesses and locally-made arts and culture.
Community & Voluntary Sector
Frankie is a regeneration and placemaking consultant with over twenty years’ experience across the UK.
She brings strategic, creative and operational expertise to support local authorities, social enterprises / SMEs, town centre management, community/voluntary organisations, and Higher Education institutions and networks.
She is a participation, engagement and communications specialist and an experienced project manager.
Frankie sits on the Todconnect committee, the local business network for Todmorden.
Community & Voluntary Sector
Barbara has run her own business in Todmorden since 1989, initially a women’s roofing and building company (Amazon Nails) now Straw Works (Architects) and since 2014 also the School of Natural Building through which she has designed & helped build 2-300 affordable & healthy buildings.
She is the author of ‘Building with Straw Bales’ and is currently working with four other EU countries on an Interreg funded project to increase the number of public buildings made of straw (Up Straw), writing Building Regs for straw buildings, and finalist in Design competition for Homes 2030. She is also working with EcoCocon straw panels as a way of bringing affordable healthy housing to a wider audience.
Founder member of the Alliance of Sustainable Building Products, member of the Building Limes Forum and the Association of Environment Conscious Builders. Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award (UKRC) Lifetime Achievement Award (Women in Construction). Board member of Todmorden Learning Centre. Worked with the Sisterhood & After project with British Library on my work in the Women’s Liberation Movement and promoting lesbian awareness.
“I volunteered for the Todmorden Town Deal Board as I want to focus more on using my skills and experience nearer home. I have a lifetime of experience designing healthy zero carbon buildings and understand the wider connections between people and design, I work with diverse groups of people, teaching and sharing knowledge, and helping projects to come to fruition.
“I am committed to my home town, set up the famous Todmorden women’s disco in 1995, have wide networks and work well in groups. I want to see the Todmorden Town Deal Board bring people together and make positive and lasting change happen for Todmorden.”
Cllr Susan Press
Susan was elected Ward Councillor for Todmorden in 2014 and lives in Shade.
Born in Manchester where she worked as a journalist, she moved to Calderdale in 1996.
She was Chair of the previous Todmorden Development Board and currently chairs the Town Hall Working Group which is overseeing the restoration of our flagship Grade 1 listed building with funding from CMBC.
A Director of the Old Library community hub in Cornholme, Susan also volunteers at two food banks in Todmorden and at the Overgate Hospice shop on Halifax Road.
She is delighted that the new Town Board is able to build on the many projects and ideas which local people have contributed over the years and help build a better future for Todmorden.
“This is a real opportunity for all of us to work together and do the best we can not just for the town but for the generations to come.”
Cllr Denis Skelton
Todmorden Town Council
Denis has lived in Todmorden for over twenty years and has a background in managing social housing and support for people in housing need.
He has been a member of Todmorden Town Council since first being elected in 2015 and put himself forward as a representative of the Council on the Town Deal Board because he is keen to help promote and support improvements in the Town and surrounding area.
He has been particularly keen to promote initiatives which the Town Council have supported such as a new Wheels Park and Festive Lights.
“I support the many exciting new projects for the town which will provide environmental and physical improvements as well as increasing local employment and job opportunities”.
Craig Whittaker MP
Member of Parliament
Craig is a board member and has been involved with Todmorden for almost 30 years, where he lived for a time.
He has since served Todmorden and of the whole Calder Valley, first as a Councillor on Calderdale MB Council between 2003 & 2004, then again, between 2007 and 2011. He became the Member of Parliament in 2010 and is currently serving his fourth term.
“It was an absolute pleasure being able to secure the Town’s Fund of £25m for the rejuvenation of Todmorden from Government last year and I look forward to contributing to the board so that Todmorden’s future sustainability and resilience is supported through great projects enabled by investment of this money.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Rebecca is a housing and regeneration policy officer for West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
The Combined Authority work in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network.
Working with the Todmorden Town Board, Rebecca supports the board in aligning the ambitions and vision for Todmorden with the wider region.
Calderdale Council - Programme Manager
Karen is Programme Manager, Towns Regeneration and Resilience at Calderdale Council. This role involves supporting town boards across the borough in securing and delivering significant regeneration funding schemes.
She is a chartered development surveyor, and brings regeneration experience across the private, community and public sectors, particularly in the field of repurposing old buildings for community purposes, as well as in community development, skills and grants application and assessment.
Karen is honoured to be providing professional support to the Todmorden Town Deal Board and managing the consultancy team. She is excited to play a part in the transformation of Todmorden, a town with fantastic assets and opportunities. She lives only a few miles away in the hills above Hebden Bridge and is looking forward to seeing the projects taking shape in the months and years ahead.
Calderdale Council - Neighbourhood Coordinator
Daisy is the Neighbourhood Coordinator for Todmorden and Ryburn Wards and assists Todmorden Town Board with administrative and clerical duties.
In her role as Neighbourhood Coordinator, she acts as a link between local people, Council services and other agencies including the Neighbourhood Policing Team, Town Councils and local community organisations. She is also responsible for maintaining and running the Ward Forums, administrating the Ward Forum Grant Scheme for the Ward and helping to support and service the partnership Safer, Cleaner, Greener meetings which are set up to address local community issues.
Daisy is looking forward to seeing the opportunities and challenges that the Towns Fund will bring to Todmorden.