£17.5 million ‘transformative’ plan for Todmorden has been agreed by Cabinet

A £17.5 million investment plan will be “transformative” for Todmorden, say senior councillors who agreed to accept the money from a Government pot.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 8:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 8:52 am

The investment plan which will see the Towns Fund money spent on the town has also been approved by senior councillors – with a caveat that it would not solve all the town’s problems.

Projects include Todmorden Town Hall, extending the Hippodrome Theatre and making improvements in Centre Vale Park, regenerating Rose Street and Bramsche Square in the town centre, improving the market and introducing housing, developing a social enterprise hub and developing public spaces, including space to hold events.

Calderdale Council Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said everyone was grateful for the money and paid tribute to the volunteer Todmorden Town Deal Board for its vision in working up the bid.

Todmorden

“It’s a series of arts, cultural and heritage projects and that’s because this is not just a town investment plan which is about buildings and roads – it’s also about regenerating the town through culture, through activity and through engagement.

“The investment plan has got quite a lot of emphasis on sustainability and I think that’s one of the things that will set it apart from many of the other ten improvement plans across the country,” she said.

Cabinet member for Resources, Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab), who is a ward councillor for Todmorden, said residents were really excited to have the opportunity for the money.

Councillors were told the £17.5 million can be spent on projects the Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government will sign off once once detailed business cases are developed and approved, in 2022.

“The council will continue as the responsible body to do everything it can to support the Towns Fund board and the residents in implementing our town investment plan,” she said.

But Coun Dacre warned that although the Government money was welcome it should also accept its responsibility for its “shortcomings” in the grant revenue funding provided to the council.

One example was an 11 per cent reduction in its budget for potholes – you could cycle to the extended, improved theatre on a new cycle route but come a cropper on a potholed main road, she said.

“We have to keep our residents safe with less money.

“The award is really welcome and everybody in Todmorden is going to be putting everything in to get as much as we can out of that money, but it doesn’t solve all of our town’s problems and it doesn’t solve all of our residents’ problems, I’m afraid,” said Coun Dacre.

Conservative group leader Coun Steven Leigh (Ryburn) said grant funding from the Government was funding 80 per cent of the council’s £108 million programme for the year ahead.