The landowners behind the Farnley Country Park plan in Huddersfield have launched a foundation to handle the project going forward.
Farnley Country Park Foundation was set up by Farnley Estates to spread the message about its proposal for a huge public park.
As reported, the park could create 450 jobs and offer a host of new leisure facilities including marked walks, cycling tracks and educational facilities.
Farnley Estates says the £150m bill of developing the park would be funded by land sales to housing developers.
Results of a public vote on the proposal will be published in early September.
Meanwhile, the foundation has now elected a chairman, vice chairman and secretary, giving the group more independence from the Sykes family that own the estate.
They are chairman John Hirst, vice chairman Joanne Stanley and secretary Angela Marshall.
Farnley Estates director Paul Sykes said: “In June we invited anyone who is in favour of the proposal for Farnley Country Park to join the foundation.
“The response was amazing and the foundation now has more than 100 people signed up and over 50 active members.
“Once the foundation was established it was always our intention to step back and let the members take over the running.
“Due to the fantastic response and commitment that people have shown, we’ve reached that point much sooner than we expected.”
John Hirst, of Lepton, has taken a keen interest in Huddersfield and the local area for many years. He’s the chairman of Lepton Community Link, sits on the board of the Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership Ltd, is a Lepton C of E School governor and an ex-Kirkburton parish councillor. Joanne Stanley works with the Kirklees Integrated Youth Support Service and has links to outdoor education.
“I am highly honoured to have been elected as the first chairman of the Farnley Park Foundation” said John.
“I look forward with great excitement to the future as we support Farnley Estates in its endeavours to develop this fantastic, recreational, fun, educational and environmental resource for the community.
“Should Farnley Country Park go ahead we’ve always said that it will be a country park for the people of Huddersfield.
“The Foundation will provide the link between local people and the park board, giving the people of Huddersfield a voice in the creation and evolution of Farnley Country Park.”
The first meeting of the Farnley Country Park meeting with John at the helm will take place in September.