Plans for a fish farm project which could have seen cavier produced in Heckmondwike are on the brink of collapse.

The scheme, a partnership between Kirklees Council and Kirklees Green Business Network, was aimed at helping disadvantaged young people into education and employment.

The Able2 Project, on former railway land off Walkley Lane, near the Ponderosa Rare Breeds Farm, was to have received £1.25 million from Kirklees Council.

In 2011 then council leader Mehboob Khan cut the first sod and said the scheme would put Kirklees “well and truly at the forefront of cutting edge environmental projects.”

Two years later plans for a fishing lake, a ‘floating’ cafe on stilts, a BMX track and bee-keeping, horticulture and joinery and construction facilities were approved by the council.

Only the fishing lake – now badly damaged by vandals – has been built and fears were raised at a full meeting of Kirklees Council that the project was under threat.

Mirfield Tory councillor Martyn Bolt told the Huddersfield Town Hall meeting that it seemed the project had “ground to a halt” and that the “fish farm had floundered.”

In reply council leader David Sheard, a Labour councillor for Heckmondwike, said the scheme had “massive financial problems” and added: “Over the years we have all wanted to be supportive of the Able2 project and the aims it had.”

Site plan for fish farm, BMX track and a floating cafe feature at Spen Vale Street, Heckmondwike
Site plan for fish farm, BMX track and a floating cafe feature at Spen Vale Street, Heckmondwike
 

Clr Sheard said the network had been successful in working with ex-offenders, reformed drug addicts and children excluded from school but much of its funding had come from the probation service.

“They were extremely successful in bringing people back into work but because the probation service has been taken over and changed they have lost funding for various schemes,” he said.

“At the moment they are looking at their finances to see what can be saved. We are doing all we can to save it and I hope we can but I can’t say I am optimistic.”

The Green Business Network set up a separate company Green Future Building Ltd in 2012 to put apprentices to work on a rail heritage project called Heckmondwike Junction.

Apprentices were building eight full-scale replicas of train carriages operated by the London & North Western Railway a century ago.

No one at Kirklees Green Business Network or Green Future Building was available to comment but a spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “We have been informed that Green Future Building, a social enterprise set up with the support of the Green Business Network, are moving premises.

“The council’s recent involvement in this has been to help them contact other businesses to sell surplus materials before they move.”

The spokesman added: “The council is reviewing options for the future of the Able2 project site in Heckmondwike in light of the current financial pressures.”