Who we are
Calder Valley Community Land Trust Ltd (CVCLT) is a member-led community benefit society with charitable status which has been established to help address and meet housing needs in our part of Calderdale.
We are part of the fast-growing community-led housing network, where local people play a leading role in solving local housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and stronger communities in ways that are difficult through current mainstream housing.
Our mission is “Securing a vibrant future for all in the Calder Valley by holding and developing land and buildings sustainability on behalf of the community.”
CVCLT is rooted in the communities of Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Established in September 2014 at two public meetings, CVCLT was brought into being through the joint efforts of Todmorden Pride and Hebden Bridge Partnership, the two town partnership organisations representing voluntary organisations locally.
We are constituted under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, as a member-controlled organisation. We have charity status with HM Revenue and Customs (exempt charity registration no. EW35609). We currently have 135 members.
CVCLT is also an Investment Partner (IP) and a Registered Provider of Social Housing (RP), previously known as a Registered Social Landlord, with Homes England. This enables CVCLT to have access to grant-funding for its developments from the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme and the Community Housing Fund.
Progress so far:
CVCLT has been gifted the ownership of the Fielden Hall (previously known as the Fielden Centre), the beautiful community centre in Todmorden. We are working closely with the Fielden Centre Association, to help them in their work of running a vibrant and successful community resource.
We are working with the Todmorden-based almshouse trust John Eastwood Homes on a project to bring six new independent living bungalows for older people to Walsden. Calderdale council has passed the ownership of land at Birks Lane to the CLT for this development and the build is now well under way, with completion due this Autumn.
Finally we have been working for the past four years to bring new housing back to High Street, Hebden Bridge, the site of housing cleared in the 1960s slum clearances. The CLT’s view is that new housing should wherever possible be on sites of former housing or on brownfield ex-industrial land, rather than on greenfield sites. Disappointingly our planning application was rejected by the planning committee by majority vote in Februeary 2019 and we are now exploring the right way forward after this unexpected setback.
ChairSimon Brearley is a chartered surveyor by profession. He has chaired the CLT since its inception, and is also the Chair of the Todmorden community-led regeneration body (the ‘town team’) Todmorden Pride. Simon brings to the CLT both his professional experience and his strong local knowledge.
SecretaryAndrew Bibby is a business journalist, whose work has appeared in (among other national papers) The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Independent. A former small business adviser, he specialises in writing on social enterprise and cooperative business. He is a former trustee of two national charities. He also led (2008-2012) the community-led initiative which saw Hebden Bridge Town Hall passed into the hands of a charitable trust. As part of this role, he oversaw a £3m new-build on vacant land at the rear of the Town Hall, and was responsible for the successful £1.2m ERDF grant application for this development. Andrew has been secretary since CVCLT’s inception. Andrew, as secretary, has responsibility for the smooth operation of CVCLT’s governance.
Karin Lowson has worked as a chartered accountant (CIPFA – Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) and has more than twenty years’ experience working in the NHS, in fields of research, information, business planning and finance. She was Finance Director for an NHS Trust for 7 years, with responsibility for finance, information, business planning and contracting, followed by 15 years as a Project Director at the University of York as a research health economist. Her skills at business planning and the writing of business plans are particularly valuable to the board.
The other board members are:
Helen Woods is an experienced housing consultant, who runs her own consultancy business Perry Richards. Among her recent clients are commissioning authorities such Manchester City Council, Knowsley MBC, Warrington MBC and Isle of Anglesey County Council. Other recent clients include Tenant Participation Advisory Service, National Housing Federation, Arches Housing Ltd and Sitra Services.
Maggie SmallwoodMaggie Smallwood has recently retired from research work at the University of York. As well as her research work, she has in recent years been the Business Development Manager for the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, for the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, and the Biorenewables Development Centre. She heads BioVale, an initiative to create innovation clusters in Yorkshire for the bioeconomy. Maggie also brings to the board significant experience of policy development and strategic planning.
Richard HendersonRichard Henderson’s background is in the private sector, in particular the financial services sector. His career has been largely spent working for large Financial Services companies, designing and developing business propositions from the idea stage, then running projects to deliver and communicate them. He has a particular interest in environmentally sustainable and healthy architecture. Richard’s experience in project design and planning is particularly valuable.
Mark ScottMark Scott brings the experience of the law to the board. Following a law degree from the University of Edinburgh and a post-graduate information science qualification from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, he took up a senior post at Legal Information Resources (now Thomson Reuters). This is a publishing company providing information services to lawyers; his work combines knowledge of law and legal information with an awareness of the legal market and the capacity to advise on or manage projects with participants from around the world.
Melvin Coleman has been a Director & Treasurer of the Incredible Edible network since 2011 and was formerly Treasurer of Incredible Edible Todmorden. He has taken responsibility for registering and protecting the trade mark as well as maintaining the accounts.
A graduate in law and a retired Chartered Accountant, his career has taken him from North Sea oil to publishing and thence into the not for profit sector, finally as UK Finance Director of Amnesty International.
His current responsibilities include chairing Amnesty’s international charity. His voluntary sector activities previously included Treasurer of Liberty, helping found and run the country’s first publicly funded law centre, the Public Law Project and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
Melvin chairs the Board of Trustees’ Audit Committee.