Domes plan is ready and ABLE

THE Dewsbury Domes project which is set to breathe new life into the local economy is set for take off.
The leader of Kirklees Council, Coun Mehboob Khan, this week turned the first sod on work to launch the new ABLE2 scheme.
ABLE2 is an environmental project which will bring fish farming, horticulture, landscaping, land and water management, joinery, construction and beekeeping to help disadvantaged groups in Kirklees.
The scheme is based on the Ponderosa site off Smithies Lane in Heckmondwike.
ABLE2 plan to pair up former soldiers with troubled young people as mentors helping turn around young lives.
The domes are the brainchild of Heckmondwikebased businessman Howard Cook, who wants to regenerate a swathe of land from Heckmondwike to Ravensthorpe via Dewsbury Moor.
The domes, similar to those at the iconic Eden project in Cornwall, and will be placed over filter beds at a disused sewage works next to Ponderosa.
The domes, made of laminated timber and plastic, are ‘temporary’ structures and do not need planning permission.
Mr Cook said the project was all about giving hope and a future to young people and he already has the support of major companies such as Arnold Laver and charities including the Prince’s Trust.
“The potential here is unbelievable,” he said. “And the best thing is it is all achievable and ready to go.
“We don’t need to wait for funding and we don’t need planning permission. There are 19 filter beds just waiting for domes.”
All the firms working with Mr Cook must sign a pledge to take on apprentices, giving a huge boost to youth employment.
As well as providing an educational resource, ABLE2 will provide additional leisure facilities for the Spen Valley area including a fishing lake, floating café, footpaths, picnic areas, a biodiversity area, a BMX track for both disabled and ablebodied cyclists, plus toilets.
Ten new jobs have already been created on the Heckmondwike site and many more will follow once the scheme is complete.
Real life skills and training in construction and associated activities will be part of the creation of the scheme which is to be done on a selfbuild basis.
It will also be as ecofriendly as possible with rainwater collection, water attenuation and renewable energy systems.
It intends to be a bestpractice example of sustainable development and will contribute much in social, economic and environmental terms.
Coun Khan gave the scheme his backing and said: “This is a very exciting scheme and I look forward to it coming to fruition and putting Heckmondwike and Kirklees well and truly at the forefront of cutting edge environmental projects which help the local economy and the community.”
The Heckmondwike scheme will be run by ABLE2 Partnership Ltd which was established by the Green Business Network to run a similar project in Wakefield.
Capital of £1.25m has been provided by Kirklees from the Capital Programme and further funding of £60,000 has been given to the design and construction of the fishing lake by the Environment Agency.
The former Spen Valley Area Committee allocated £50,000 towards the cost of the floating café.

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