The Next Chapter
This is an exciting, once in a generation opportunity to develop a recreational project, made possible by £1.2m investment from the Todmorden Down Deal Board.
Riverside will not only provide long-term and inclusive access to a site of natural beauty for many more sections of the community than has hitherto been the case but will also provide employment in the recreation and visitor economy sectors.
Rome was not built in a day, it took 20 years to develop the site originally, and we have worked hard since 2016 to ensure this site is positioned to become a viable and self-funding community enterprise.
We have already raised and invested c£30k to undertake the essential environmental and safety repairs to the building and create a more usable community space.
However, like all organisations and businesses, we have had to face the challenge of Covid regulations and lockdowns with the inability to generate income from the asset. We have managed with prudent financing and now we are in a position to create something special.
We have until August 2022 to provide the Town Deal Board with a full business case to draw down significant transformational funding.
We are hoping to include within the budget most of the items we proposed in the Town Deal Investment Plan:
- refurbishment of the existing building amenities to inclusive standards to incorporate a function room and modern changing facilities
- a hub, with café and accommodation, for walkers and cyclists with access to several national and local trails,
- a woodland facility for a forest school for use by the local schools and mental well-being organisations
- a canal side base for water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing
- a scouting base for local troops and a centre for Duke of Edinburgh awards.
- a modern surface carpark with suitable charging facilities for cars, bikes and other EVs
- a base for the inspirational local charity ‘EMpowered People’ – an all ability cycling and training centre,
- where there is demand for other recreational or sporting facilities, we will look to include them in the final designs.
We are ambitious for the site, and we will be using the current funding on offer to lever in additional funds to support covid recovery and wellbeing initiatives.