Presenting The Vision & Projects In The Town Investment Plan
Over 150 people took part in Todmorden’s first Citizens’ Assembly to find out more about the vision and projects in development for the Town Investment Plan and to have their say. Through the Town Investment Plan, Todmorden stands to win up to £25M government funding towards a brighter future for the town.
The Citizens’ Assembly took place across two one and a half hour online sessions organised by Todmorden Town Deal Board. The event included presentations setting out the strategic vision and a diverse range of proposed projects covering key themes; promoting wellbeing and outdoor leisure, providing affordable housing, developing environmental and creative skills, creating diverse employment opportunities, investing in creative, learning and enterprise facilities, stimulating the visitor economy and creating high quality civic space.
Following the presentations, members of the public put their questions to the Board and commented on the plans in a lively and productive discussion.
Pam Warhurst, Town Deal Board member said;
“It was a privilege to be asked to present the Board’s progress on this ambitious and imaginative vision and plan for our town.
The passion and commitment to Tod shone through from everyone who took part and reflected the fantastic community cooperation we are known for.
It’s vital to build on our strengths – our enterprising spirit, our unique heritage, our arts and music and our amazing landscape to lay the foundation of sustainable growth for our lovely market town.”
Participant, Beate Kubitz said:
“It was great to hear about plans that we in Todmorden have come up with for the town – and to see so many other Todmorden people on the Zoom.
I think we’ve really missed out on being able to meet new people during lockdown so the opportunity to hear other people and comment on plans was so important and heartening. Especially as so much has changed about the way we all work and travel in the last year. I hope there will be more of these events.”
Participant Mary Clear, Chair of Incredible Edible:
… is keen to see as many people as possible get involved in the Citizens’ Assembly.
“We’re always saying we’re left behind – now is a chance to catch up! This is your chance.
If you’re not in it, you won’t know what’s happening. The choice is either to moan about it or jump straight in.
We should all get behind this great opportunity for our town. It’s not every day you get a chance to bid for £25 million.”
Participant, Nadeem Mir, Chair, Integrate Todmorden said:
“The Citizens Assembly was an excellent platform to engage with the wider community. I commend the board for its innovative use, which allowed residents of Todmorden to have their say in the development of the Town Plan. We have people from diverse backgrounds who are not always confident in talking in large formal forums, at times their insular lifestyle makes them unaware of what is happening around them. The Citizen Assembly and the way it was promoted allowed the board to be as inclusive as possible.”
Stephen Curry, Town Deal Board member who led on the organisation of the event said:
“We hope that Citizens’ Assemblies will be part of an ongoing collaborative programme of engagement to enable us to reach as wide and diverse a demographic of Todmorden’s residents as possible as the Town Investment Plan moves forward.
We were delighted at the great turnout for the sessions because it shows Todmorden is a town ready to roll its sleeves up in 2021 and get stuck in.
The questions put to us from participants were thoughtful and direct, resulting in very useful feedback which we have fully taken on board.”
Todmorden is one of 101 towns nationally that have been invited to apply for up to £25m each under the government’s Towns Fund scheme. The Todmorden Town Deal Board made up of representatives from the private, statutory, voluntary and community sectors, was set up in July this year to advise Calderdale Council and draw up an investment plan. If approved, the plan will be the basis for projects around town centre redevelopment, arts, heritage and culture, sports and healthy lifestyles, enterprise and skills, and transport.
The investment plan for the town will be submitted to the government at the end of January, with more detailed work on the business cases for any approved projects over the coming year, and project delivery taking place until over the next four years.
The Board has already secured £500,000 in ‘accelerator’ funding already used for new Christmas lights, and allocated for a cargo bike delivery service, a new ‘wheels park’ and other improvements at Centre Vale, improvements at the Town Hall, Hippodrome, and the Unitarian Church Lodge, and new water access points and bike stands.
For more details about the Towns Fund, the Town Deal Board, and how to take part in the Citizens’ Assembly, go to www.todmordentowndeal.co.uk