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Our latest news
Successful conclusion to share issue
We are absolutely delighted to be able to report that we reached the maximum target of £270,000 in our community share issue early in January, and the issue closed two weeks early.
This is a wonderful response. About 120 individuals living locally (and not-so-locally) have entrusted us with their savings. We also acknowledge the investments from Todmorden Town Council and from Co-operatives UK (the latter via the BOOSTER programme). Thank you all.
New investors become CVCLT members
Our 78 new investors join our 169 existing CLT members so we now have 247 members of our community benefit society. 42 existing CLT members also invested.
Investors, stand by for share certificates!
We have only just received the full list of investors from Ethex and are still awaiting further information from them. We will be sending an email to all investors as soon as we get this, with your share certificate and other important information. Please look out for this email arriving. It will be in the next few days.
We feel we have to celebrate the end of the community share issue in a suitably enjoyable way, even if it will have to be by zoom.
We have arranged a social event for CLT members and investors from 7pm – 8pm on Tuesday March 16. The full programme is still being arranged, but we can promise a not-to-be-missed magic show (yes, online, by zoom!) from Pete Heat, www.peteheat.co.uk. The singer-songwriter Danny Malone (a Tod lad who has now achieved national attention for his perceptive songs) will also participate. We will email CLT members/investors shortly, inviting you to book your place.
Progressing the Fielden Acre project
We now have formal confirmation of our other two finance sources for the purchase of the Fielden Acre buildings and land (a grant from Homes England and a low-interest loan from the Community Foundation for Calderdale). We are working to a provisional date for the completion of the purchase at the very start of March.
Walsden bungalows approach first birthday
The bungalows in Walsden were completed in February last year, so our residents are approaching the anniversary of the time when they moved in. We were pleased to be able to drop in a 90th birthday card to one of the residents just before Christmas!
We’ve mentioned before that the CLT was identified by Calderdale’s Cabinet last year as a suitable organisation for the development of affordable housing on the Rose Street site in central Todmorden (the old health centre site), and we understand that the housing proposal is now included in the Todmorden Town Fund £25m bid to central government, along with several other really exciting community-based proposals for the town’s regeneration. (They include for example the TLC initiative for the old community college and the Bandstand group, as well as further work to the Fielden Acre itself).
Because the Rose Street development is potentially a sizeable one, the CLT has decided that it will progress it, on a joint basis, with our friends in Connect Housing, a well-regarded housing association operating locally. Assuming central government approves the Town Fund bid, we anticipate detailed planning work during the rest of 2021 and into 2022. More news when things have developed further.
And meanwhile in Hebden Bridge
Yes, meanwhile in Hebden Bridge we have been looking once again at the old High Street site off the Heptonstall Road, to see if we can bring forward a new planning application for homes which (a) will be exemplary in terms of sustainability (b) will be further away from busy Bridge Lanes (c) will be houses which enhance the town’s landscape and heritage and – always key – (d) can be built to a financially viable business plan. Early in January some initial trench-digging took place on site, to check ground conditions. Since a High Street development would also potentially be a sizeable one, here too we plan to partner with Connect Housing.
Have you forgotten HB Signal Box?
We haven’t. We are still keen to negotiate the asset transfer of the Grade II listed (but decommissioned) signal box from Network Rail. The negotiations have been held up directly because of covid-19, when frustratingly we were unable to progress the main grant application we have been working on for the box. Hopefully we’ll be able to progress things more quickly during 2021.
Our social impact survey
Thank you if you responded to our request to take part in our ‘social impact’ survey last month. We closed the survey at the end of August when 101 people had responded. The results are, we think, very interesting and will help us plan the way forward for the CLT.
The full social impact report is available on the website. Just click http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/socialvalue.pdf.
· 101 completed surveys received: 25% response rate
· 80% regularly read the CVCLT monthly Newsletter
· 60% mention CVCLT to friends and colleagues
· 10 had recruited other people to be members
· 42% had attended the public meetings on ‘Housing – an Issue’ in 2018
· 87% understood the CVCLT aims quite well or very well
· Respondents have greater knowledge about local issues and the CVCLT than about national issues.
· Respondents have greater knowledge about housing need than about broader topics such as the community-led housing movement and the role of social housing providers
· 76-79% respondents believed that the contribution of CVCLT to housing issues had been significant.
· 61% felt that the contribution to equity and inequality had been significant.
· Of the 86 respondents who answered what should CVCLT priorities be over next 2 years, 73% said ‘creating affordable homes’; 19% ‘raising awareness of housing issues’; and 12% acquiring heritage or disused buildings on behalf of the community
· 85% of respondents lived in the Upper Calder Valley, 58% were women, 75% were aged 60+ years and 97% were white British.
CVCLT is getting known
We’re one of the few Community Land Trusts in the country to have chosen to become a Registered Provider of Social Housing, and to submit to the regime overseen by the Regulator of Social Housing. The Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH) thinks this makes us potentially of interest to other CLTs, and have commissioned Phillippa Hughes of Sheffield University to research and write a short case study. You can read it here: https://www.cch.coop/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/cch_casestudy_Calder-Valley-WEB-SINGLES.pdf
National publicity for Walsden development too
Our Walsden development has attracted national attention. We must admit that we’re pretty pleased that a photo of Birks Court is on the home page of the National CLT Network’s website (http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/).
The Housing Learning Improvement Network include an account of our partnership with local almshouse John Eastwood in a recent briefing note: http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/HLINViewpoint.pdf. We’re also featured in the latest issue of Almshouse Gazette: http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/images/AAGazette.jpeg
Walsden development is case study for flood alleviation
We are impressed by the work which the Slow the Flow Calderdale group has been undertaking in recent years to try to help alleviate some of the flooding problems the valley has been suffering in recent years, so we’re delighted that our Birks Court development in Walsden is now featured on the Slow the Flow website as a case study in good practice.
You’ll find the case study here: http://slowtheflow.net/category/case-studies/
Our Annual Review
We’ve an illustrated 2021 Annual Review. Contact us if you’d like a hard copy. Ot just look at the PDF online. You’ll find it at www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/2020review.pdf.
The national picture
Several of our trustees have been participating in Zoom discussions organised by the National CLT Network. It’s always interesting to know what CLTs are doing elsewhere, and there is now a great deal of collective experience in the movement. We’ve been approached recently for advice by two CLTs considering going through the procedure to become ‘Registered Providers’ of social housing. Since we are one of the few CLTs with RP status we’ve been pleased to offer what advice we can.
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