Garden is next step in future of Rose St site

An artist's impression of the community garden planned for the former Rose Street health centre site, Todmorden
An artist's impression of the community garden planned for the former Rose Street health centre site, Todmorden

A COMMUNITY garden will be created on the site of the former Rose Street health centre as part of a long term project to regenerate Todmorden town centre.

Landscaping work is planned to start later this month to bring the area to life after being out of use and surrounded by hoardings for two years.

This will include planting of wildflowers and fruit trees; a young people’s area; a range of artwork; and seating for people to gather, have something to eat and relax.

The temporary garden will remain until the longer term scheme for the site is fully developed.

David Storah, chairman of the Todmorden Town Centre Renaissance Project Board, said: “The project board felt that developing the area as a usable space while the longer term scheme is fully developed would improve the environment of the town centre as a whole, and provide a facility that can be used by all.

“Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the work.”

Fruit trees will be planted and wildflower seeding will create a display of meadow flowers throughout the summer for people to admire and to attract a variety of insects, especially bees.

Incredible Edible Todmorden is planning a demonstration area in the garden to showcase innovative edible planting techniques, giving people the chance to grow and pick their own fruit and vegetables.

The communal garden will be green in more ways than one, as it is being cultivated using recycled materials as far as possible, from other outdoor areas in Calderdale.

Work on the creation of the garden is being managed by the project board – a partnership between Calderdale Council, Todmorden Town Council, Todmorden Pride and local businesses.

David Moore, Calderdale Council’s head of regeneration, said: “Calderdale Council and our partners on the Todmorden Town Centre Renaissance Project Board are working on a long term project to regenerate Todmorden town centre.

“In the meantime, the temporary community garden will breathe life into the previously unused area on Rose Street.

“It is hoped that the town centre regeneration will include new retail and local business opportunities and a place for people to gather and hold events.

“We are asking developers to come forward with ideas for the redevelopment of the site.

“It is expected that this process will take around two years.”

The project board has approached Todmorden Town Council for a contribution towards the cost of providing seating.

At last week’s amenities committee meeting, councillors resolved to give £3,000 of funding for picnic tables and benches. The decision will go before the full town council for ratification.

Coun Margareta Holmstedt said: “I have been walking around the market for years saying we must have a food court.

“Stalls sell a lot of interesting food and there’s nowhere to sit and eat it.”

The garden is scheduled to open in early summer and is estimated to be in place for up to four years.

When the site is redeveloped, many of the trees and plants will be able to be re-used elsewhere. Fruit trees and ornamental birches can be moved and perennial planting can be transplanted.

The seating will also be relocated.