Renaissance Re-loaded
Posted 9th July 2003

Upper Calder Valley Renaissance presented "Renaissance re-loaded " to a packed house. Extra chairs were brought into the Sunday school room until there was room for no more as the stage became full. Some people left - the queues to get in (and sign in) were so long.


Film footage showed the "flying shuttle" - (invented by John Kay in 1753). Before this invention the cotton industry was organised so that people were able to work from home. With the advent of the flying shuttle which mechanised the process a factory based system which increased productivity came about. The flying shuttle could do the work of two people.

The vision for the Calder Valley this time is an electronic shuttle - connecting the valley at 11 points weaving it all together using electronic whizadry (Internet/Broadband connectivity) flying information up and down the valley. With the new technology it was suggested that more people could work from home - if not all the time some of the time, thus reducing the need for people to commute every day and easing the severe traffic congestion affecting the valley. This time the flying shuttle would have the reverse effect - allowing people once again to work from home.

It was said that the current markets in Hebden Bridge were good but what about a Calder Valley product being established?

An artist's impression showed a building called the snake (a two tier car park based around Garden Street, Hebden Bridge) and a cafe area behind the cinema.

Low cost housing and increase of non-school leisure facilities was a priority.

Workshops (with representatives from each town) were being established for river, rail, and canal - weaving the valleys together, with better access to them all.

The Valley Manifesto: A charter for celebration and change (extracts):

Process: We will establish a connected, creative and sustainable valley by re-defining the role of the market town through a people-based process of physical, symbolic and virtual change that builds upon the talents of the people and the quality of the built and natural environment.

Built environment: We will work together to value, protect and enhance our unique cultural and physical heritage. We will give priority to the quality of the built environment, to conservation of historic buildings, ... We will be respectful but not rigid.

Valley setting: ...We will ensure that the wooded landscape is extended and managed and that the river and canal corridor is accessible but protected from inappropriate development. ... We will improve valley links by enhancing the footpath and bridleway network, recognising and protecting the variety of wildlife and scenery in the area.

Image and marketing: ...Natural and heritage riches will be promoted and communicated effectively to the wider world. If appropriate, we will dare to be different.

Business and recreation: We will develop a thriving business base as well as a wide range of good quality leisure and arts facilities. We will celebrate individuality and encourage a wide range of activities for those of all ages....

Communication: We will encourage social well-being and community cohesion by developing and delivering an efficient communication network that will connect people of the valley to each other and to the many facilities, services and products that exist already...

Housing: We will work with local communities to secure a range of housing to meet a balance of need. We will encourage the promotion of town centre living, live-work accommodation and the potential for sustainable and low-impact housing. We will seek to establish a balance between affordability and the opportunity for inward investment that maintains the unique diversity of population mix within the valley.

Getting about: We will pursue all the means at our disposal to reduce traffic levels in the valley and to develop integrated transport arrangements that make travel a pleasure. Walking, cycling, horse riding and water borne travel will be promoted as a utility as well as a leisure activity.

Sustainability: We will use sustainable principles (economic, social environmental) as a basis for all future developments, respecting the best of the old but incorporating the best of modern technology and creativity for the benefit of future generations.

Change: We accept that change can be difficult but we agree to work together to achieve the renaissance vision, in partnership, not in conflict or competition. We will be tolerant, inclusive and respect diversity. We will address the root causes of intolerance and alienation. ... Let go of the negative attitudes that hamper progress and have the confidence to believe that we can achieve quality change for future generations.

Community involvement: Above all we will involve all those who wish to be involved in the process. We will continue to listen to the people of the Upper Calder Valley, as we work towards the delivery of the Valley's Renaissance in the years to come. (Draft 10.6.03)

Thanks to Frances Robinson for this report and photo

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