Trades Club and Youth House
Tuesday, 19 December 2023
Northern Powerhouse Boxing Academy (NPBA) is looking to move into Hebden Bridge to make our boxing club fully accessible and better serve the community, with a special focus on creating a space for our younger community to feel welcome.
As many of you are aware, we've been exploring the ground floor of the Trades Club as a potential location, which remains an option. However, delays in planning have led us to consider other possibilities.
Given the response to our earlier conversation about the Trades, we felt it was important to keep the local community informed and raise awareness of the challenges posed by reduced government funding for youth services, as well as the collaborative efforts by local organisations to address these issues.
The next step in our search for a new premises led us to consider Youth House, located on Carlton Street in Hebden Bridge. We learned that Calderdale Council planned to sell this council-owned building and obtained planning permission in March 2023 for two flats and a commercial space.
However, we saw an opportunity to keep Youth House for community use. In early September, we nominated the building under the 'Community Right to Bid' process, aiming to have Youth House recognised as an 'Asset of Community Value.' This recognition would mean that if the council decided to sell, community groups like ours would have the first opportunity to bid for it.
It's important to clarify that the Community Right to Bid, often confused with a Community Asset Transfer, is a different mechanism. While they share similar objectives, NPBA was not pursuing an Asset Transfer for Youth House, recognising previous unsuccessful attempts.
We believe that Youth House, with its rich history and central location, would be an ideal facility not just for NPBA but also for other groups like Cloud Youth Club, who are seeking a permanent home. We know of other youth organisations also in need of a space. Our vision was to create a space where such organisations and youth services could come together, forming a vibrant and supportive hub for our young people.
Unfortunately, on November 15th, the council declined our nomination. They acknowledged Youth House's history as a community facility but stated that its 23-year closure disqualified it as a 'recent' community asset. They also questioned the need to re-establish Youth House as a community building. We have responded to Calderdale's report with our concerns, but as there is no right to appeal their decision, we now await to see Youth House being sold on the open market.
We've initiated discussions with Hebden Royd Town Council about the shortage of youth facilities in Hebden Bridge. We greatly appreciate their understanding and support, signalling the start of a dialogue on how we, as a community, can better serve our young people.
We remain hopeful about the potential of the Trades' ground floor as a future space for our activities, but we're also keeping our options open. If you know of any suitable locations that could become our new home, or if you can offer any support, please do get in touch.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!