A striking sculpture, a sports centre or town trail could feature in a future vision for Elland.

And a man at the heart of the community is appealing for residents and the business community to get together to kick-start the regeneration of the town.

Joe Braithwaite is chairman of the Elland and District Partnership and says now the town’s hopes of re-opening Elland Baths have ended, people need to think about its future.

 

Joe said: “For a town the size of Elland we need a vision.

“We need an entrepreneur, businesses or a group of dedicated people who live or work here to make something of the town.

“At the moment people leave Elland to go to Brighouse, Huddersfield and even Holmfirth.”

Already a meeting of small businesses has been held, and Mr Braithwaite with further meetings with church and community groups, residents and big businesses to encourage involvement and ideas.

The EDP formed in 1999 and has a board of 12 directors and two councillors.

They have funded floral decorations, Christmas lights and secured grants for the multi-use games area on James Street.

A willingness to boost the town has seen them set about creating apprenticeships, with the first already in place thanks to funding from Locality.

But regenerating the town is key and Joe admits they can’t do it alone.

One of Joe’s ideas is a sports centre near the Recreation Ground, but it would require major funding and a potential asset transfer.

“I want to sow the seeds for people to think of ideas for how the town shapes itself, it might be people are happy with it as it is but we need people to have a say,” Joe added.

“Would a sculpture be something that puts the town on the map?

“Perhaps we could devise a trail for Elland, something that gets people looking at various locations.

“These are just ideas, but we need more and we need people with the will to make it happen.

“We all know Calderdale Council doesn’t have the money, but Elland has the biggest industrial estate in Calderdale and we need to benefit from it more.”

The next meeting of the EDP is on Tuesday, October 7 at Willow Court, Victoria Road, at 7pm. It’s open to all to attend.