"Castleford Heritage Trust was established in 2000, and is a registered charity and a limited company which aims to promote the community's heritage and culture to build a strong, successful community. We use natural as well as cultural heritage as a vehicle for regeneration and improving educational opportunities. We have promoted access to the waterways, local woodland and other green spaces, developed educational opportunities and community involvement in natural and industrial heritage projects and celebrations.
We have initiated, promoted and delivered major regeneration projects in the town, particularly environmental and natural heritage projects, increasing community involvement. We have delivered projects in partnership with other organisations, including the Environment Agency, English Partnerships (now the Homes and Communities Agency), Yorkshire Forward, Arts Council England, Yorkshire, Groundwork Wakefield, British Waterways and Wakefield MDC's Regeneration Department. The Castleford Riverside Regeneration projects were successful in winning the 'Community' category in the BURA and Waterways Trust Regeneration Awards, and other prestigious awards.
We worked with English Partnerships to develop the Fryston and Wheldale pit sites, to facilitate the village community and enable local input into the project. Also, funded by the Arts Council, we employed an Arts Development Officer to help run a community arts centre, Bridge Arts, to promote arts and culture and develop programmes for the unemployed, looked after children, after school clubs and cross generational activities.
We have established and supported groups, including Friends of Fryston Woods, Castleford Riverside Community Group and act as an umbrella organisation for other groups. We work with schools in Castleford and across the Five Towns and with higher education establishments such as York and Leeds Met Universities. We provide environmental improvement projects, workshops, activities and resources for learning to improve well-being, to build a stronger, more united and cohesive community.
From 2008 to March 2013 we were based within Bridge Arts, a community and arts venue, and managed the day to day running of the centre and the activity programme which took place there. We managed the refurbishment of the building, which took place in 2009/10, and was funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. At the beginning of 2012 we were awarded revenue funding from the same organisation. This enabled us to sustain our Centre Manager post, employ two part-time Café Managers, provide work experience placements, and run a programme of arts-based workshops for adults, plus holiday and after school activities for children. The project ran until March 2013, and we purchased and moved into Queen’s Mill in April 2013.
Just completed is our Fryston Woods Access and Improvement Project, funded by Natural England’s Access to Nature Scheme, through funding from the Big Lottery. We also received match funding from the Three Areas Project, through the Joint Public Health Unit (Wakefield District PCT & Wakefield Council). The project started in August 2010 and ran until December 2013. Through the project we employed a Woodland Access Ranger to work within the local community to encourage use of three sites: Fryston Wood, Well Wood and the Fryston Country Trails."
Lorna Malkin, CEO, Castleford Heritage Trust
Thus the Castleford Heritage Trust was conceived in Castleford, it was conceived by some remarkable people with a pride in their town.
One such person was Eric Crossland. One day Eric had looked down Bank Street to check the time as he had done on many occasions only to realise the clock was no longer there. This prompted Eric to raise the money for what is now the Millennium Clock, a clock unveiled by the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In the September of 2000 at a public meeting held in the Trinity Methodist Church by an embryonic Heritage Trust, the level of pride shown by the townsfolk prompted Ray Taylor the Regional manager of the Heritage Lottery Fund to say "I wish I could have wrapped that meeting up and taken it back to London with me. I have never seen anything like that."
The aim of the trust is to improve the local area and knowledge of local heritage in order to improve community esteem, raise the aspirations of our young people and for the general benefit of local people and visitors to Castleford.