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  1. Our Friends of Castle Green and Hereford LIVE camera hosts have announced that they have appointed local architect Oliver Steels of Errand Studio to work alongside the board in the next steps towards rejuvinating The Pavilion, Castle Green as part of the StrongerHereford Town project. As a local, Oliver has a good understanding of the needs of the community in redeveloping the building and has some fantastic ideas that will help FoCG to achieve its vision of transforming the historic Pavilion building to create a modern, accessible space and iconic riverside visitor attraction in the heart of Hereford. Our Friends of Castle Green are very much looking forward to working with Oliver over the coming months. Keep an eye out for updates on the plans!
  2. We have to keep congratulating the fabulous Stronger Hereford team for their excellent campaign and winning bid securing over £22 million for some wonderful projects for Hereford. To put into context just how incredible it is to achieve £22.4m, Hereford MP Jesse Norman said Below is another new project that will benefit from this huge 'Towns Fund' The Southside project will be located in Newton Farm in South Wye and is a collaboration between Growing Local is Going Local CIC, Belmont Wanderers Football Club and NMITE. Their common goal is to improve the future health, wellbeing, life chances, and employment skillsets of the people of Hereford. Alongside a main building, this project StrongerHereford will develop 3G and 4G pitches, a wheelchair-accessible plot, a community market garden, and an educational garden to help engage the individuals in this area. You can read more about it here 👉 https://hfd.news/5f4
  3. The Castle Green Pavilion project will enhance a much-loved but neglected community asset, open up access to the River Wye and add significantly to the infrastructure of Hereford’s visitor economy. The refurbished pavilion will provide a revitalised home for the Youth Canoe Club, cafe facilities, a multifunctional and flexible community meeting space and a gallery celebrating local arts and heritage. The Pavilion has the potential to become the heart of creative and innovative youth development in the city. RATIONALE Developing the Pavilion brings a “whole day offer” to people visiting Hereford. We will add to commercial developments in the city by balancing the strong retail development on the north-west of the city with an art and heritage offer on the south-east side; all in walking distance, giving visitors a chance to enjoy the essence of the city’s rural/urban feel. There is also huge potential for Castle Green to become the Festival Village for Hereford, having successfully hosted large scale events with up to 3,500 people on site. The green is a natural amphitheatre and with the transformed Pavilion as the anchor point, Castle Green can become nationally recognised as a vibrant space of culture, commerce, and community activity. This project will support Hereford’s creative sector and underperforming visitor economy, delivering the Towns Fund Intervention Framework objective of: Improved arts, cultural and heritage offer that is more visible and easier for residents/visitors to access. FUNDING Total Cost: £1,560,000 | Towns Fund: £1,560,000 Towns Fund will facilitate the full refurbishment of the Pavilion.
  4. When Mayor of Hereford, Kath Hey, was invited to join the independent Town’s Fund board, she welcomed the chance to work towards an ambitious vision where Hereford’s unique rural heritage would complement sustainable future development. The Towns Fund board, called #StrongerHereford, is made up of local leaders, businesses and communities who have put forward a bid for £25 million to Central Government. The bid was the culmination of months of extensive engagement with people across Hereford and it was instrumental for the City Council to be part of that process to ensure a strategic and cohesive connection. “This is very much about future proofing the city for the next generation” said Kath. “The City Council is very much about being at the heart of our communities by connecting them, providing grants and an overall commitment to make sure they’re supported. But of course, our many communities are all different so there was a concerted effort to discover how we can make significant improvements whilst retaining what we love about Hereford.” The guidelines for the bid stipulated that projects needed to focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture. As Kath continues “Hereford needs to recover following Covid when the time is right. Too many people have lost their livelihood and young people have continued to migrate away from the city. Focusing on skills and growth seems particularly pertinent”. “The Towns Fund is all about levelling up so essentially making Hereford an even better place to live, visit and work in. The public were equally passionate as we were to embrace our rich heritage whilst improving quality of life.” January saw a milestone with the bid (called the Town Investment Plan) submitted to Central Government. It’s quite an ambitious plan which has evoked strong reactions across the city. But the plan is one that was created fairly and with a clear vision. “You’ll recognise that the plan features connectivity as a theme and it builds on the community transport legacy already in place” says Kath. “But when we talk about connectivity, we also mean people as well as transport links and that means having things to do.” The process wasn’t without its challenges and it’s no surprise about how passionate discussions on which projects to support were. What was absolutely clear was a mutual desire to create something that integrated all parts of the city. But what next for those projects that didn’t make the final cut? Kath says “This really brought to light how many dedicated people are doing inspiring things in the city. As a group we felt we can continue to support them, connect them to the right people and provide guidance on how to secure funding that’s a better fit”. “We had to continually refer back to our vision to put forward projects that have the best chance of successful funding. Each project is like a part of a puzzle and together they create something fantastic. But we were also conscious that there were so many projects that whilst not suitable for this funding, we didn’t want to forget.” Hereford City Council is actively looking to work with other partners that are working towards enhancing the city. Contact them for more information.
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