Leader’s Viewpoint: Cllr Marlene Haworth

As the festive season approaches, I’m delighted to share some exciting news that will bring joy to our market traders and the wider community. Effective from the 2nd January, all market traders during the Market Hall refurbishment will enjoy three months of rent and service charge-free trading, followed by a further concession on the already discounted market rents for the entire decant period. This initiative aims to help alleviate any financial burden during the market’s temporary relocation and hopefully ensures their continued presence within our community.

Whilst on the topic of the Town Square Market, we want to celebrate the opening with an event. This will take place later in January once all the traders have settled in to their new cabins so keep your eyes on our social media pages for more information on this exciting family event.

I’m thrilled to announce that the Council has secured £237,000 of revenue funding from a High Street Accelerators Pilot Programme, to be spent in Great Harwood. A local stakeholder board will be established and chaired independently by Great Harwood resident Peter Holden, President of the Great Harwood Civic Society and Secretary of the Great Harwood Community Action Group. The board will agree a plan to unlock additional capital funding of around £500,000 which will be used to green up Great Harwood’s main high street. I’d like to thank the officers involved and the MP for her hard work in continuing to lobby the Government to bring money into the borough.

I am proud to give a further update on the ‘Leader’s Budget’ which is something I started shortly after becoming Leader. This £20,000 budget was created to enable small grants to be given directly to community groups in need of funding. I’m pleased to say almost all the funding has been allocated to a wide range of groups in townships across the whole borough.

Finally, we recently announced the availability of community grants of up to £5,000 to support local initiatives that make a positive impact on our community. Small grants go a very long way when in community hands and I hope this scheme will elevate work already happening across the borough. Applications for community grants are open until December 15th. Visit www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/community-chest-grants/ to apply. I urge everyone to spread the word to local groups who you think may benefit from a grant.

As we embrace the festive season, on behalf of Hyndburn Borough Council I extend my warmest wishes to all residents for a joyous Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.