IN response to a letter in last week’s paper (‘No sign of masterplan’) I would like to reassure Mr Skidmore that the council is actively working to build a vibrant destination for Pontefract’s residents, businesses and visitors and are doing all we can to deliver the town’s masterplan despite the major changes that have happened since it was drawn up.
The council developed the Pontefract Central Area Masterplan as part of a programme which was funded by the regional development agency called Yorkshire Forward.
It was intended that masterplan projects would be funded by development agency funding, but unfortunately Yorkshire Forward was abolished by this government.
Despite this the council has progressed the masterplan and has been very active in trying to bid for funding to help deliver the projects. We have also allocated our own funding resources, despite the very difficult economic situation.
Not all bids have been successful, but funding has been secured to improve the town including its historic ginnels and town centre properties as well as the castle.
Work in Tanshelf, which has been paid for by the council, has seen the demolition of the fire station to open up a key gateway on the site as an entrance to the town.
We also support private companies to seek funding such as Harworth Estate which wishes to develop the former Prince of Wales Colliery site, helping it apply to the Regional Growth Fund and Growing Places. In addition to this the council recently established the Pontefract Business Forum so we can work closely with the business community to deliver some the masterplan projects, like the regeneration of the privately owned ginnels through the Townscape Heritage Initiative.
COUN DENISE JEFFERY
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth