Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Francis Maude MP took a trip to a Calderdale community centre.
The Threeways Centre, Ovenden, is the largest community asset transfer in England and has benefitted from the Cabinet Office’s £10m Investment and Contract Readiness Fund which helps social ventures to build their capacity so that they can receive investment and bid for public service contracts.
Mr Maude enjoyed a guided tour of the centre, based at the site of the old Ridings School, with Chief Executive Colin Davies and representatives from Calderdale Council, the New Beginnings Christian Centre and Locality, all of whom are supporting the rejuvenation of the former school site.
He saw areas that have already been transformed, including the main hall and sports suite, and discussed the next phases of development, which will include a pre-school, restaurant and commercial office space.
Mr Maude said: “What I’ve seen at Threeways is a fantastic example of an asset transfer that will benefit the local community for years to come.
“It was reassuring to hear that funding provided through the Cabinet Office’s Investment and Contract Readiness Fund has been of use, and I got a real sense of the community cohesion that is breathing fresh life into the site.
“People say they don’t understand the notion of the ‘big society’ that the government is always talking about. Yet here we have the local community coming together, taking the initiative and taking the lead to do something for themselves.
“It is the big society in action and all involved can be justly proud of their efforts and achievements to date.”