June brings you updates on:
- forthcoming events including a celebration to mark the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the Park, plus community competition opportunities later in 2018
- the status of the Community Asset Transfer
- New Board Members
Crow Nest Park 125th Anniversary Celebrations!
16 September 2018
In 1893, Crow Nest Park had it’s grand opening to the public with great celebrations and wonderful experiences for local people. To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Grand Opening, Dewsbury Park Mansion Community Huband The Friends of Crow Nest Park bring you:
The Curiosity Festival!
The Festival will celebrate the opening of the park, bringing everyone together to curiously explore our cultures, heritage and shared values, all whilst enjoying a fantastic family day out. The funding bids have been sent off with plans for street entertainments, circus performers, community theatre, food and craft stalls, competitions for local schools, community groups and businesses, and curiosities to entertain and astound visitors.
Pop the date in your diary and do let us know if you would like to take part in, help or support the festival in any way. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more details via our next eNewsletter, website and Facebook Page (links at the end of this eNewsletter).
Friends of Crow Nest Park Family Get Together
The Friends are our sister group and meet on the first Monday of the month. They support the life of Crow Nest Park and the local community in myriad ways, and have fun while doing it! Over the coming months they have a Crow Nest Park Tree and Wildlife Trail, plus they are planning a lovely Get Together on 7 July 2017.
To keep up to date and learn about membership and supporting their work in the park please ensure you have “Liked” their Facebook Group.
Community Asset Transfer Progress and next steps
After our successful Expression of Interest submission back in March 2017, followed by the fast turnaround of a Business Plan in just six weeks – as stipulated by the council – we were told the assessments of the Plan were “on the whole good”. There was a legal issue that required a solution being found, so we diligently worked on that and found one.
By Autumn/Winter 2017 we hadn’t had any written feedback on the Business Plan, neither did the council seek Cabinet approval of the project in November/December 2017 as promised. Nevertheless, we continued to work hard conducting research, commissioning a Structural Survey, identifying funding possibilities and preparing to have Architectural Concept Designs created. We’ve also strengthened our Board of Directors and you can learn more about our new team members below.
We were then promised we would have the Business Plan feedback by Easter 2018 but this didn’t materialise.
Finally, after several emails and phone calls, feedback was received in the middle of May. We are currently addressing each of the points and will meet with our Council representative in two weeks time. At this point we will also be requesting a specific timeline from the council to avoid further delays in the process.
We’re still several months away from actually having the keys to the building, but at least we’re that much closer now! We’ll continue to update you as more news and information becomes available. In the meantime, please do encourage your friends and other interested community groups and businesses to sign up to this eNewsletter so that local people are aware of the project and can work with us on ensuring the Mansion is used for the benefit of everyone in Dewsbury, rather than loosing it via private sale and risking potential loss of access to certain areas of the park as a result.
New Board Members
Over the last few months we’ve been busy looking for local people with the knowledge and expertise we need to strengthen our Board of Directors. Here’s a quick introduction to them and a reminder of our longstanding Directors:
- Alison Cotterill – with a firm background in Public Health, Alison is well placed to advise on our focus of Health and Wellbeing and has extensive local knowledge
- Paul Moore – as Community Development Worker at Chickenly Community Centre, Paul was a driving force on the team in securing the Community Asset Transfer of the building to local people. His knowledge and understanding of the asset transfer process and funding will be vital in moving forward
- Rev’d Simon Cash – As Rector Designate of Dewsbury Minster, Simon has a strong background in finance as well as the day to day running of a Grade II Listed Building
Longstanding Board Members:
- Jenifer Devlin (Founding Director) – A former senior manager in education within Kirklees Council, Jenifer has also worked with Leeds University and has served as a school Governor in Dewsbury. She’s an active member of the Friends of Crow NestPark and avidly campaigns on local issues such as the NHS.
- Jax Lovelock (Founding Director – Chair) – Working in creative arts, education,community and business, across the Midlands and West Yorshire, Jax brings experience in community engagement, events and marketing to the table
- Gill Young (Founding Director – Secretary) – A former vice-Principal of DewsburyCollege and Principal at the Royal Forest of Dean College, as well as setting up and running the Wine Loft at Blacker Hall Farm Shop, Gill is currently Chair of the Friends of Crow Nest Park.
- Pam Lonsdale (Director) – with a background in the commercial and charities sector, Pam has a strong foundation in Marketing and HR. She has been Centre Manager for the West Yorkshire Print Workshop, Director of HOST CIC and is currently the Marketing and Volunteer Recruitment Manager for CommunityTransport Calderdale which has recently set up a branch in Kirklees
Your Support Is Very Much Appreciated
Our small team of Volunteers are working hard with the Council to make the CommunityAsset Transfer happen and we promise to keep moving things forward for the benefit of everyone in our town. Please accept our gratitude for helping us to keep that promise now and into the future.
Look out for our next eNewsletter which will reveal more exciting information about the Curiosity Festival and how you can be involved! If you’re not signed up to it yet, click here