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Informal briefing with David Kerfoot CBE, Founder member of Local Enterprise Partnership, Yorkshire.
30 Jan 2022
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Informal briefing with David Kerfoot CBE, Founder member of Local Enterprise Partnership, Yorkshire.

30 Jan 2022

  Informal briefing with David Kerfoot CBE DL, on Wednesday 12th January.
 
We were really grateful that David Kerfoot could pop in to Kirkby Malzeard at very short notice for a briefing on rural economic regeneration and community building.  We hope to organise a further briefing for more people to join in, with more notice next time.   David was a founding member of the Local Enterprise Partnership for North Yorkshire and the East Riding.  He has supported many community organisations and he has a huge wealth of experience in economic growth, particularly in rural areas.  David has advised on small business and developing growth prospects for the regions throughout the whole of North Yorkshire and has given evidence on these subjects to Parliamentary Committees and to the United Nations.

 
Summary

Kirkby Malzeard is a significant local village and as such needs to look forward to how the locality will grow in future.  A key concept here is David Kerfoot’s definition of ‘Place’ - somewhere where people want to “..live, work, play and invest”.

It is important to have a ‘Place Plan’ to ensure we can maximise opportunities to secure funding, maximise investment in our local businesses and maximise the benefits of our area as a place in which to live, work, play and invest.

We need to consider our environment, the local culture, our history and the facilities we have.

Then we need to consider issues such as connectivity (transport and internet), planning, local business needs, facilities, funding opportunities, how we manage our visitor economy and how we use our lovely environment and interesting history to good effect. 
Central to this is how we develop our local culture.  Businesses and community groups need to work cooperatively and to communicate well in order to grow, gain funding and encourage investment.

The Henry Jenkins Community Pub is a potentially huge asset for the local community and for other local businesses. It is of historical significance, a draw for visitors, an example of community economic self-help and thus a model for funding opportunities that could benefit the wider community.
Briefing and discussion
 
The concept of ‘Place’
 
David began his introduction by explaining that our Government is keen on the idea of ‘place making’ - encouraging people to develop a bond with the area in which they live by creating activities and making areas for people to visit.  Many countries, such as the US, Germany, Sweden and us here in the UK, tend to concentrate attention on this concept of ‘place’ in urban areas.

David explained that his personal target is to ensure that both central and local government pay more attention to the rural aspect of ‘place making’.

In order to achieve a successful place for all these factors, we rural residents need to consider how we develop and grow economically.  We need to attract visitors to our area and that in turn will help our businesses, work opportunities, investment and facilities.
What sort of local features attract people to live, work play and invest in order to begin this upward spiral of community and economic growth?
The environment
The local culture
Local history
Facilities

The Local Enterprise Partnership Delivery Plan 21-22 Local Enterprise Partnership Delivery Plan 21 - 22, from the York and North Yorkshire LEP  emphasises the need to create a ‘Place Plan’ and this is strongly recommended to help Kirkby Malzeard to achieve the benefits of economic and community growth (in terms of facilities and support) and to attract Government funding.

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership has the idea of ‘Place’ as one of its priorities. 
The aim of that partnership is to engage with communities who have become ‘…disillusioned with a London-centric system, to give them a greater say over the communities they live in”.

‘Place making’ is all about regeneration, not redevelopment.  It is all about a community’s physical and also social assets. It is about how communities work and collaborate together.  The benefits of community collaboration are enormous.

 
A Place Plan for Kirkby Malzeard
 
In order to create a place plan for Kirkby Malzeard, we need to ask:

- How well is Kirkby Malzeard connected?

- What is the WIFI connection like?

- How do people work from home?

- What are transport links like?

- Do we have links with organisations such as Harrogate Borough Council, North - Yorkshire County Council, English Heritage, the Environment Agency? 

- How can we use Kirkby’s existing culture?

- Do we have a culture of co-operation?

- Do community groups work well together?
(The community website is a great asset to help groups to communicate and co-operate)

- What is our environment like?
We live in a beautiful environment - how can we use this to encourage others to visit, spend money and participate in events? 

- How can we share local history to enhance our area?
We have lots of interesting local history that could enhance visitors’ experiences of the area. 

- How will planning matters affect us for good or ill?

- Can we make our voice heard? 

- How do local businesses find Kirkby Malzeard as a place in which to operate?
With the knowledge that businesses attract other businesses, how can we attract more businesses in to our area?

As the ‘Golden Triangle’ (Harrogate - York - Leeds area) reportedly expands to be a ‘Golden Diamond’ spreading to Ripon and Thirsk,  (Financial Times article) property prices may increase but investment may also increase. How can we use this to our advantage? 
 
- How can we achieve funding for the local community?

- How can we take advantage of funding opportunities that may arise during the current period of devolution? 

- What sort of facilities do we have currently?
We are lucky that we have a wide range of facilities.How can we protect and support these facilities?
 
- How do we encourage or manage a visitor economy?

- How do we encourage more people to Kirkby to spend their money in our local businesses?
How do we make Kirkby Malzeard somewhere where people might like to visit for the day?

When the structure of local government changes next year, there will be opportunities for places to have discussions on the way forward and a plan of action is vital. Those communities who are organised, have a plan, and determinedly approach NYCC for funding will be those who succeed.

Forging links with other organisations is an important part of this plan. 

Useful ideas include: meeting with HBC tourism council and to discuss the idea of ‘Visit Kirkby’, seeking advice from other successful villages, contacting eg the Pateley Bridge Business Group and Ripon Business Improvement District (BID).
 
Increasing investment in Kirkby Malzeard
 
There was then a discussion about how we could encourage visitors in to Kirkby Malzeard. 

The discussion included events that are beginning to be established:

Cycle races -maximising the impact of eg Tour de Yorkshire by organising and publicising a village day.  This has been done to good effect previously and each event would improve with experience.  We need to promote such events beyond our immediate vicinity.
Motor cycle scrambling.
Campervan festivalThe next consideration is how to attract people with more events. It was generally agreed that we currently don’t attract visitors as well as we could do.

Ideas mooted were:
Reviving the 10K run
A Hog Roast(Note: In other forums, community events suggested have included: reviving the Ales in the Dales tours, a Viking Festival, historical walks).

David outlined the example of the village of Alne which has an annual street fayre.  This has raised a huge amount of funding for a spectacular children’s playground. 

It was generally agreed that, in order to make Kirkby Malzeard a village in which to visit, work, play and invest, we need to create the feeling that we are all part of the same community and that the different community groups would work better to achieve this end if they worked together.

The Tour de Yorkshire day was cited as a village effort which was done well.

The Neighbourhood Plan was mentioned, although it was pointed out that this is mainly concerned with planning issues.

There was a discussion on the Community Association and the importance of finding a mechanism to create a culture of cooperation and seeing each group as a part of the whole community.

The value of a community pub

 
The campaign for the Henry Jenkins Community Pub was discussed and the division that exists on this subject within our community. 

All of the organisations in our community are extremely valuable and the community would be the worse off without the Mechanics Institute, the Queen’s Head, the shops and the Henry Jenkins.

A community pub could be a huge benefit to the community. Research has proved time and again that more businesses draw in visitors that draw in more business and this cycle benefits the community and other local businesses. 

Government funding organisations would be impressed with a plan, for example, for a community pub that included a bakery.  This would be a great example of a community helping itself: drawing in visitors and therefore drawing in spending, increasing local employment opportunities and, if local shops were to sell the community bakery goods, that would be an excellent example of a community helping itself.  

The redevelopment of the community pub in itself would be considered a great opportunity to encourage local investment, especially if local builders and craftsmen were employed.

Some residents have expressed concerns that a revived Henry Jenkins could damage the Queen’s Head or the Mechanics Institute.  This view simply does not make business sense.  A community pub, especially one with history, that shows the community is determinedly growing and helping itself, would not only bring visitors here to the benefit of all other local businesses, but could raise funds for the community (as a community pub) and be an asset in applying for funding.

For example, the combination of the Mechanics Institute as a venue space, with its lovely new coffee room, combined with a larger restaurant directly opposite, would be a dream destination for a theatre group or visiting arts organisation. The two buildings could and should work together.

There is a worry that the Henry Jenkins building is falling into disrepair and a few residents have suggested that anything is better than the current stalemate.  But once lost, a piece of local history and an opportunity to increase Kirkby Malzeard’s draw to visitors and investment, is lost forever.

It is important that this issue is resolved quickly.
 
Possibilities to resolve this include:
The Parish Council applying for a Public Works Loan
The Plunkett Foundation’s investigations into how the Localism Act deals with ACVs and the weaknesses in ACV legislation
Persuading HBC, or the new unitary council, to invoke a Compulsory Purchase Order.
David asked if Julian Smith MP had been contacted for support.  It was reported that Julian Smith is disinclined to help.

The priority is for all the community to work together and to try to understand the principle that growth is good and new businesses are a benefit, not a threat. 
  
 
 

 
 
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