A GROUP campaigning to breathe new life into Crow Nest Park has appointed Dewsbury’s MP as an ambassador to promote their cause.
Paula Sherriff met with members of the Dewsbury Park Mansion Community Hub group to discuss how to fulfil its vision for improving the health and well-being of the town.
The museum in Crow Nest Park was closed in December 2016 and local activists hoped to take control of the building from Kirklees Council with a community asset transfer.
The Community Hub was set up in April 2017 and its members have been trying for more than two years to negotiate a long lease for the Grade II-listed former museum.
Large-scale funding is being sought from the National Heritage Lottery Fund to support major refurbishment.
To raise the cash it needs, the Hub will become a charitable community benefit society – similar to a co-operative – where supporters will buy shares in it.
Anchor tenants on the site will provide an income, but the Hub will look to hold weddings, funeral teas and conferences as well as outdoor events.
Money raised will support operational costs and staffing and will also be put towards aiding the health and well-being of the community. The group hopes MP Paula Sherriff will provide an impetus to make progress.
She said: “A refurbished mansion in the magnificent setting of the park would be a superb space for community-led groups and statutory providers to come together to offer activities for all sectors of the community, particularly focusing on health and well-being.
“Other areas have shown that local authority/ voluntary sector partnerships can achieve amazing outcomes for the benefit of local people.”
Group chairperson Jenifer Devlin said: “We find it hard to understand why we can’t make more rapid progress on this project.”