£17.5m investment secured for Todmorden’s Town Deal programme

Todmorden Town Deal Board is delighted to announce that the final three exciting projects proposed in its Town Investment Plan have now received the go ahead for investment from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, meaning the full £17.5million Town Deal programme of eight projects is fully approved for delivery.

The news follows approval of the first phase of five projects by Government in December 2022. The programme aims to develop the local economy and realise the potential of Todmorden as a unique and attractive 21st century market town, bringing opportunities for enterprise development, health and wellbeing, learning, arts and culture and for improving the town’s park, heritage and green spaces. Key to the vision of the Board is collaborating with young people, ensuring a sustainable approach across all delivery, and including the town’s diverse communities as projects progress.

The eight projects, representing a total investment value of £17.5 million into Todmorden, are:

Active Todmorden, Calderdale Council

This project aims to make Todmorden more accessible and easier to move around for pedestrians and cyclists, improving opportunities for better health and wellbeing as well as making the town more attractive. In particular, pedestrian access and links between the rail station and the town centre will be improved.

Centre Vale Park, Todmorden Town Council

Brand new facilities for sports and leisure will be developed and much-loved features of the town’s primary green space, including the conservatory and bandstand, will be restored for contemporary use. Todmorden Town Council is working with community groups operating in the park, and also seeking additional match funding to proceed with strands of the project. They are partnering with Calder Valley Community Land Trust to improve Fielden Hall, which will benefit from energy efficiency improvements and provide some energy efficient affordable rented accommodation in two houses.

The Enterprise Centre, Calder Valley Community Land Trust

A new town centre building will house 21st century businesses, supporting existing businesses to grow and attracting new enterprises to Todmorden. 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 workspace, linking with schools and Tod College to offer opportunities for the town’s young people to develop their skills and experience in professional sectors.

The Hippodrome Theatre Extension led by Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (TAODS)

This highly successful community-owned theatre will extend into the single storey unit next to the existing theatre to provide improved workshop, performance and rehearsal spaces. This will make the building more accessible, enable the creation of additional opportunities for professional development for volunteers, and increase the number of annual visitors to the town.

Public Places in Todmorden, Calderdale Council

This will see the enhancement of shared spaces to prioritise people, and the creation of a more welcoming, attractive, flexible civic space and public square, boosting trade for local shops, markets and businesses, and providing a space capable of hosting Todmorden’s programme of events, festivals and specialist markets.

Riverside Centre, Upper Calder Valley Renaissance

This project will transform a beautifully located but underused recreation and green space in Walsden into a hub of leisure and activity for the wider community, including those with disabilities, to improve their health and wellbeing. Riverside will be home to local team and individual sports including kayaking, cycling and junior football, providing quality outdoor facilities with modern amenities.

Tod College, Learning and Community Hub

This community owned and run building offering workshop, conference, meeting and learning facilities to the local community, will benefit from significant improvements to its spaces and facilities and see a much-needed programme of energy efficiency measures carried out to secure a sustainable future for the building.

Todmorden Town Hall, Calderdale Council

The Grade I listed Todmorden Town Hall will be transformed through a programme of specific alterations to make the building more accessible, flexible, user friendly and sustainable. Taken as a whole, the improvements will re-energise local pride in the Hall, ensuring it’s fit for modern day use and securing its future for the next generation.

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:

“This once in a generation chance for Todmorden to realise its potential as a 21st century market town is now a reality. I am thrilled that the hard work of our skilled Board of local people who invested many hours to achieve this extraordinary milestone in our town’s future, in the middle of a pandemic, has paid off. After years of consultations, the contributions and ambitions of Todmorden communities are finally being rewarded, enabling us to capitalise on our unique landscape, heritage and enterprising spirit. Todmorden people deserve better opportunities for health and wellbeing, skills development and jobs, alongside a revitalised town centre which will encourage people to spend more time in Todmorden supporting our wonderful local businesses and markets.”

Calderdale Council is the Accountable Body for the community-led Board and for the Todmorden Town Investment Programme as a whole. Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Engagement and Public Health, said:

“This is a really proud moment for Todmorden and everyone who has worked together on the impressive plans for the town’s transformation. Through years of hard graft, commitment and enthusiasm, we’ve seen Calderdale’s talent, enterprise and kindness shine through. These qualities, combined with the distinctive features of Todmorden that we cherish, will drive forward the next chapter for the area.

“This important regeneration programme contributes to all three of the Council’s priorities, helping to develop thriving towns and places, reducing inequalities and taking climate action.”

The funding announcement follows three years of planning and development by Todmorden Town Deal Board, made up of private, community and Calderdale Council partners. The eight approved projects will now move forward to undertake further detailed planning, including public consultation, environmental and planning permission processes as required. Completion of the Town Deal programme is expected by the end of 2025.

Pam Warhurst added:

“Whilst we celebrate this great news, both the Board and our project partners are not complacent. We know the real work starts here if we are to achieve and maximise the positive impacts in the Town Investment Plan. There are challenges ahead in delivering a major programme of such complexity, and we will be setting out a programme of opportunities to continue the conversation with local people in due course.”

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