The upcoming Cabinet meeting on 7 August 2023 will be considering proposals for the establishment of a new Enterprise Centre at Ferney Lee Road in Todmorden. The objective is to seek approval for an asset transfer of Council-owned land to the Calder Valley Community Land Trust (CVCLT) at no cost. This transfer will facilitate the development of the Enterprise Centre, which is one of the eight projects funded through the Todmorden Town Deal.
The CVCLT will sponsor and oversee the project, utilising £3.8 million from the Towns Fund. The Enterprise Centre’s purpose is to provide modern and professional facilities for small, start-up, and established businesses, offering energy-efficient and affordable workspaces. Additionally, it will foster connections with local schools and Tod College to offer young people in the town opportunities to enhance their skills and gain experience in professional sectors. The project will also include the creation of affordable rented homes.
Previously, the Council intended to allocate land on Rose Street for the Enterprise Centre. However, due to the risk of flooding at that location, this option is no longer feasible. After exploring various sites across Todmorden, the Council identified the former Ferney Lee Care Home site as the most suitable location. The site’s strategic placement is opposite Todmorden High School and Centre Vale Park, just a 15-minute walk from the train station and town centre, making it easily accessible for local businesses and residents.
Councillor 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 considered using the Ferney Lee brownfield site for extra care housing by a registered provider. However, this option received no interest after being put out to tender in Autumn 2022. Additionally, the availability of extra care provision has increased throughout the borough since then.
The Todmorden Town Deal program was developed by the Town Deal Board, drawing from over 15 years of consultation in Todmorden, as well as project ideas from local residents. The program adheres to strict guidelines, criteria, and timescales set by the Government.
The Chair of the Todmorden Town Deal Board, Pam Warhurst, 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 of the 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 in the Todmorden Town Deal program represent a total investment value of £17.5 million into Todmorden. For more information about the program, interested individuals can visit www.todmordentowndeal.co.uk.