Mansion Project Viability Funding

Happy New Year! Believe it or not, this is our third New Year working on this project! During the summer of 2018 we were able to secure Project Viability funding to support with creating Architectural Concept Designs, an Elevational Survey, any legal fees we would incur should our project be given the go-ahead by Kirklees Council, Community Engagement, admin and project costs. Whilst work began on these areas in the Autumn, we also took the decision to re-visit the Business Plan as the local and national landscape has shifted since we first created it back in July 2017. Discussions are ongoing with the council about the cafe space, and we will share information as and when it is forthcoming. Our team of volunteers are currently working on these areas – no small task but our goal keeps us working hard to move forward. We would also like to extend our thanks to Cllr Turner for facilitating a positive and supportive meeting with Councillors from all three of Dewsbury’s Wards represented.

A Vision Created By You

Those of you who have supported the project since Autumn 2016, when the decision to withdraw museum services was made, will know that we have consulted with local people at various events and online which established a need for an active, vibrant, town-wide community hub that focuses on health and wellbeing. You identified that it could support local business start-ups and community organisations, that it could provide creative activities and events, that we should look to make it sustainable so that it can contribute positively to social and economic wellbeing and growth. A fitting use for a building that was purchased for the benefit of the people of Dewsbury back in 1893, rather than see it being sold commercially to a private buyer.

Complex Considerations

The asset transfer of Dewsbury Park Mansion is the largest and most ambitious asset transfer project in Kirklees. It is reliant on millions of pounds worth of capital funding so there is a certain element of risk linked with the success of the project. There are many legal and funding aspects to navigate and they’re not all straightforward, but positive steps forward have been made recently and we are fortunate that Kirklees Council is one of the leading local authorities in Community Asset Transfer, as referenced in Locality’s Save Our Spaces report 2018.

Our team has been working diligently on this for just over two years now and will continue to work in partnership with Kirklees Council, funders and other partners to try and make this vision a reality for the people of Dewsbury.

Thank you for your support and we hope to bring you more news soon!

Events and Festivals in 2019

Thank you to all who came and supported our sister group, The Friends of Crow Nest Park, at their Christmas Fair on 10 December 2018. Thanks also to those who came and discussed the Mansion project with us on our stall, it was lovely to hear about your memories and what the Mansion means to you, and your enthusiasm for the project. The Friends of Crow Nest Park are planning lots of events for 2019, including the always popular Classic Car Shows. Their next event is the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, April 21st 2019. We’ll also be working together on the Curiosity Festival which we are planning for later in May 2019 so do keep an eye out for ways to be involved over the coming weeks! If you would like to register your interest before then, use this form. You can also join The Friends of Crow Nest Park as a member for just £1, bob along to their Facebook page for more details.