Todmorden’s Citizens’ Forum updates residents on progress of £17.5M town development plans

Green energy, sustainability, young people, jobs and skills were all topics of lively discussions at two well attended Citizens Forums held by Todmorden Town Deal Board for residents and businesses to find out more about progress on the £17.5M Towns Fund award plans to anchor the transformation of the town.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 6:00 pm
Todmorden’s Citizens’ Forum updates residents on progress of £17.5M town development plans

The key focus of the event was a comprehensive presentation on how the Board had to revise the Town Investment Plan (TIP) to fit the reduced offer of the government from the £25M originally applied for.

This was followed by a mix of project leads and board members giving tasters of what individual projects might look like and what they hope to achieve, should the Government approve the revised £17.5M plan for Todmorden.

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Pam Warhurst, Chair, Todmorden Town Deal Board who presented the revised plan and explained the reprioritisation process undertaken, said: "It was fantastic to see so many people from all sections of our community.

"As a Board we highly value our fellow citizens’ views and input, and we benefit from the challenges and questions they put to us.

"The discussions we had were thought provoking and full of ideas for how we deliver on this plan, but also on how we create more investment and partnership for Todmorden to realise our vision of a sustainable market town fit for the 21st century."

The Citizens’ Forum also provided an opportunity to celebrate what has already been achieved through the £500,000 Accelerator funding awarded last year including the fabulous Wheels Park in Centre Vale Park, renovation of the façade of the Hippodrome, improvements to the railings of the much loved Grade II listed Town Hall and a new hub and state of the art electric bikes for Cargodale in the town’s Market Hall.

Beate Kubitz, Founder, Cargodale CIC, spoke about the economic value of cycle tourism: "We’ve seen how towns like Peebles in Scotland and many others across Europe have created safe roads and routes for people walking and cycling and how this helps communities thrive and grows the local economy. I believe we can do the same here in Todmorden."

Stephen Curry, Todmorden Town Deal Board Member and Forum Organiser, presented the Riverside project at Warland which has the potential to house a range of health, wellbeing, sport and environmental opportunities for local groups, schools and visitors alike.

Stephen said: "Riverside is a fantastic opportunity to reflect the vision of the conservation group that rescued the site from developers several times between the 70s and 90s; their initial aim, to create a green space for the widest possible community and visitor use.

"Our recent visitor survey shows we have not made the most of our economic opportunities to show what a great market town we have with many attractive assets. But we now know collectively what to build on and what initiatives to take alongside the Town Deal projects."

Frankie Mullen, Todmorden Town Deal Board Member, invited participants to support the Board to reach people and communities not already engaged and informed about the process and the Towns Fund investment.

She said: "As a Board, it is vital we engage the people and communities who stand to be beneficiaries of this amazing investment in Todmorden.

"The long-term value of what we can realise will be maximised by people taking part in opportunities like our Citizens’ Forum, by getting involved, challenging our thinking and helping to shape how plans are delivered. It’s the key to achieving sustainable relevant impacts and a bright economic future for the town."