Enterprising use of land

Proposals for a new Enterprise Centre at Ferney Lee Road in Todmorden will be considered at the next meeting of the Cabinet on 7 August 2023.

The Cabinet will be asked to approve an asset transfer of the Council owned land to the Calder Valley Community Land Trust (CVCLT) at no cost, for the development of the Enterprise Centre, one of the eight projects funded through the Todmorden Town Deal. 

The project, which is sponsored by CVCLT, will be developed using £3.8 million from the Towns Fund.

When completed the Enterprise Centre will offer modern, professional facilities for small and start-up businesses, as well as more established enterprises in energy-efficient and affordable workspaces, linking with schools and Tod College to offer opportunities for the town’s young people to develop their skills and experience in professional sectors. It will also include the creation of some affordable rented homes.

Land owned by the Council on Rose Street was previously allocated for the centre, however the Environment Agency has made clear that the risk of flooding at the proposed site cannot be mitigated and so this option is no longer viable.

After exploring a range of locations across the town, the Council identified the site of the former Ferney Lee Care Home as the most suitable for the centre which will provide a combination of commercial offices and housing.

The site is well located opposite Todmorden High School and Centre Vale Park, a 15 minute walk from the station and the town centre and close to local businesses. 

Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and the Voluntary Sector said:

“The Enterprise Centre is a vital part of the Todmorden Town Deal programme which will help support local businesses and give opportunities to our young people to ensure Todmorden continues to thrive.

“Whilst the Ferney Lee site was not part of the original programme this offers a really good compromise.  It’s still a central location close to local businesses and it frees up the land adjacent to our public realm scheme in Bramsche Square bringing additional environmental and wellbeing benefits.”

Initially the Council had proposed that the brownfield site at Ferney Lee, which is cleared and vacant, could be used for extra care housing by a registered provider, however it received no interest after the opportunity went out to tender in Autumn 2022.  The amount of extra care provision has also increased across the borough in the meantime.

Todmorden’s Town Deal programme was developed by the Town Deal Board drawing from over 15 years of consultation in Todmorden, and through an open call out for project ideas from local people, as well as strict guidelines, criteria and timescales set out by Government.

Pam Warhurst, Chair, Todmorden Town Deal Board, said:

“The vision for a new hub for start-ups and enterprise in Todmorden, including the creation of some affordable rented accommodation, remains a top priority for the Board, so we are pleased that the Ferney Lee site may offer the potential to realise this ambition. We aim to support the creation of better employment and skills development opportunities for local people, especially our younger residents, and the Enterprise Centre project is a key part of our strategy to achieve this.

“The relocation of the Enterprise Centre does open up an exciting opportunity for us to work with local communities to really invest in and give greater focus to developing a greener town centre in the space now available in Bramsche Square as part of our Public Places project.”

Simon Brearley, Chair, Calder Valley Community Land Trust, said:

“Our view that a new energy efficient enterprise centre has the potential to support Todmorden to thrive and be more resilient remains. In addition, we and our members are motivated by the opportunity to develop much needed affordable rented accommodation in our town as part of this scheme. We remain open to exploring other site options for an Enterprise Centre and housing.”

The eight projects represent a total investment value of £17.5 million into Todmorden. For more information, visit link)

Calderdale Council is the Accountable Body for the community-led Board and for the Todmorden Town Investment Programme as a whole. 

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting is on Monday 7 August at Halifax Town Hall from 3pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

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