50 people attend Holbeck Neighbourhood Plan Workshop

A community centre could become the focus of commercial and service delivery in Holbeck if residents’ plans come to fruition.

Over 50 people gathered at St Matthew’s Community Centre, on Saturday morning to discuss what should be included in the Holbeck Neighbourhood Plan.

Acting Chair, Dennis Kitchen, referred to the displays round the hall pointing out the wide variety of activities in Holbeck. Did you know that the Holbeck Working Men’s Club founded in 1877, was the oldest in Yorkshire and the second oldest in the country?

Tony Ray of Planning Aid introduced the session, which comprised a number of table discussions on a range of topics, which could help determine what priorities should be included.

The topics suggested for discussion were:

  • Heritage/History
  • Housing
  • Transport and movement
  • Environment
  • Community Facilities /Services
  • Business /Employment

The following major priorities were identified in the table discussions:

  • Integrating and improving community services and delivering them from one venue – perhaps St Matthew’s and the surrounding locality might be an appropriate place given its centrality in the neighbourhood?
  • Improving the perception and image of Holbeck both within the community and outside it: environmental works to Domestic Street and signs promoting the area;
  • A branch of a national supermarket – it was noted that an increase in population would help to make this commercially viable;
  • Improved bus services – Holbeck was cut off;
  • Improved existing housing and additional affordable housing for local people;
  • More activities and facilities for young people;
  • Engaging business and additional commercial investment;
  • Increased local employment opportunities.

Dennis Kitchen concluded the meeting by stating that a Steering Group met regularly to make sure things progressed and that two other groups had been set up: a Publicity Group and a Content of Plan Group – any offers of help would be gratefully received. He confirmed that the table discussions would be written up and a progress meeting held in due course.

To offer help or to request more information Dennis can be contacted on 0750 515 7259

This article was written by Stephen Williamson using our Community Reporters website