Group unveils ideas of how to spend a million

Chris Jenkinson from the Dewsbury Moor Big Local project with the team's new support worker Rachel Vernelle.
Chris Jenkinson from the Dewsbury Moor Big Local project with the team's new support worker Rachel Vernelle.
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A community shop, a local listings magazine and computer training are just some of things that Dewsbury Moor’s £1m could be spent on.

The team tasked with working out how to spend the estate’s money has been hard at work coming up with ideas of how to spend it most effectively.

At a meeting on Wednesday, they discussed ideas that have come out of surveys and focus groups with local people.

The Rev Kathy Robertson, chairwoman of the Dewsbury Moor Big Local Partnership, said: “It has taken quite a long time to get to this stage but we have got a group here and we are seeing the fruits of our labour.” Dewsbury Moor was one of 50 areas to be given one of the Big Lottery Fund’s £1m Big Local Trust grants in 2010.

Since then, the estate’s Big Local Partnership has been finding out how residents want to see the money spent and is now putting together an action plan before it starts spending.

Support worker Rachel Vernelle told a partnership meeting at Dewsbury Moor and Scout Hill Children’s Centre what the plan could include.

Setting up social enterprises for cleaning and recycling was discussed. As well as providing these services to residents, these schemes could also provide jobs for local people.

The partnership also talked about working with not-for-profit organisation Fresh Horizons on turning empty buildings into family homes and setting up a community shop.

Again, local people could be hired to carry out the construction and renovation work.

Heckmondwike firm Green Future Building is also talking to the partnership about setting up a manufacturing base in Dewsbury Moor and producing a local listings magazine.

Mrs Vernelle said: “You could run the magazine out of Dewsbury Moor, potentially employ somebody and it would be a way of getting publicity for local activities.”

A mobile phone app with information about local services was another idea discussed, as was the possibility of running projects at the local rugby club during the 2015 World Cup.

Getting people access to computers was identified as a top priority, particularly as the government moves much of its benefits service online.

Improving children’s playgrounds was also considered, though Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing is already planning some work in this area.

The Dewsbury Country Park scheme, which will see 84,000 trees planted between Dewsbury Moor, Ravensthorpe and Heckmondiwke, was also looked at as a way of providing jobs and training for residents.

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