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Friends of Calder Holmes Park

A meeting of the Friends of Calder Holmes Park group was held on Thursday 18th February at the Town Hall. The meeting, chaired by Hetha Duffy, was very well attended and it was great to welcome to the meeting a number of the young people who are actively involved in the plans to extend the skatepark facilities.

The engagement and enthusiasm of these youngsters is infectious and it was universally agreed as having been a very positive and encouraging meeting. We were also pleased to welcome the parent of another young skater and we would encourage more parents to come along and get involved in the group, which works directly with Calderdale MBC to continue to improve the park and its facilities. If anyone is interested in becoming involved in any capacity at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Lesley Jones, either via the Hebweb or Hebden Royd Town Council.

The meeting this week focused mainly on the latest position with the funding applications that have been made for the long hoped for skatepark extension and on the proposals for the pavilion.

A final decision had been hoped for this week in respect of a bid for some major funding from Sport England which has been successful in reaching Stage 2 of the application process. Unfortunately we have now heard that the decision has been deferred for three months to allow further information to be submitted on three points. Two of these are thought to be simple clarification issues with the third not considered insurmountable and hopes are high that the bid will ultimately be approved. As soon as full details of what is required regarding these three points are received from Sport England, work will start on our responses.

Running alongside this bid is an application to Groundworks UK which has also been successful in reaching Stage 2 of their process. This Stage 2 application form preparation is now well underway with a deadline for submission of the end of March.

Funding has now been secured for over half of the required total costs and excitement is building now that these two final bids will be successful, enabling the long held dream of a new/enlarged skatepark to be realised. The fact that £25,000 was raised by the youngsters themselves recently is a credit to them and their determination that this project will ultimately happen.

However, there is still some work to be done on these two applications and members of the group took some action points away to help move these forward.

A website is currently being constructed that will hold more details of the progress with the skatepark plans and where more information will be available in the very near future. Watch this space!

Long standing negotiations between Calderdale and a new tenant regarding the grant of a new lease of the Pavilion are expected to complete in the next week or two. Refurbishment of the pavilion is hoped to be able to start by mid March with a re-opening planned for later in the spring. The new tenant plans to open a cafe and he will also be responsible for management of the other facilities such the putting and bowling greens and the tennis courts. It will be great to see this neglected facility refurbished and brought back into use as a vital part of the overall park facilities.

The next meeting of the group is the AGM which is to be held on the 8th April at 7pm in the Town Hall. This will be followed by the next committee meeting. We would love to see lots of you there!!

Many thanks to Lesley Jones for this report

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