Don’t miss our open day at the college on Sunday October 8th. More details here!
We want to make sure that Todmorden College stays as a benefit for the people of Todmorden. We aim to do this through an asset transfer of the college to a Community Benefit Society.
Our Vision is three fold:
- to create a National Learning Centre in the Calder Valley that will provide real and marketable skills in natural building, agro-ecology and micro-generation.
- It will also be a Community Hub, nurture our local community, have space to be creative, artistic, innovative and energetic, and house some of our much needed local services – a Children’s Centre and a Youth club.
- And it will support and house business start ups, small businesses and co-working spaces offering superfast fibre optic broadband.
The community-owned and run Todmorden Community College project would run 16+ technical courses on Agroecology and Natural Building as well as a range of business courses.
The College is also an ideal building for enterprise workshops and small office space.
This intitative began with Barbara Jones, Principal of the School of Natural Building, and Incredible Farm Chief Exec Nick Green and and Secretary Robin Asby. There is support from Todmorden Business Network, and other Todmorden businesses, for greater use of the College space. There is also substantial public support, already demonstrated at public meetings and messages on social media.
Other uses for the College could be to revive the very successful art courses which ran in the past, house the Children’s Centre Youth Centre, and residential course accommodation. This would not be as some Calderdale Officers suggest a hotch-potch, but an organised use of the college to maximise its benefit to all interests in Todmorden.
Incredible Farm and the School of Natural Building say that practical education is-
- central to supporting Todmorden’s small business community,
- central to giving young people their way into employment
- central to keeping money in the town and not allowing national and multinational companies to live off it.
They add: “We are in the fantastic situation of having in Todmorden enterprises of both national and international reach which are focussed on exemplifying and teaching vital skills which will be necessary for future prosperity. With an asset transfer of the College to a Todmorden based community organisation, a vibrant programme of learning could be established in the college as outlined in the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance report. That programme will bring money to Todmorden to give us hope for the future and keep Todmorden a thriving community.”
As a not-for-profit social enterprise, the School of Natural Building can undertake all the necessary renovations at much less cost than standard building costs at the same time as training local people.
Incredible Farm and the School of Natural Building’s next steps have been to publicise their plans and complete a full feasibility study.