Blooming great idea to brighten up Cleckheaton town centre

Volunteers are aiming to keep Cleckheaton town centre looking blooming marvellous – and are looking for more help and support.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 11:00 am
The Cleckheaton in Bloom team pictured with their handiwork in the Precinct

Shops and town centre businesses have funded bedding plants and planters for the last 10 years but have now created a new organisation to ensure the town keeps looking its best.

Spenborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce has helped set up Cleckheaton in Bloom, and a small band of dedicated volunteers have already made an impact.

Nichola Garland, who is treasurer of the chamber and also the chairman of Cleckheaton in Bloom, said that after the pandemic it was important to help Cleckheaton get back on its feet.

Cleckheaton in Bloom team member Janet McGenn, in the Precinct

“Lots of businesses are feeling the pinch and we need to ensure Cleckheaton is a welcoming and attractive place to come back to,” said Nichola.

“The chamber has maintained the planters in the town for at least the last 10 years but we decided to make that a more formal arrangement.”

The chamber secured a £2,000 grant from Kirklees Council but there was no point in buying plants if they weren’t watered and cared for.

Nichola launched an appeal on social media asking for volunteers and Cleckheaton in Bloom was born.

The group has just become constituted and has joined Natural Kirklees and has public liability insurance.

Volunteers now meet on Wednesdays (6pm-8pm) and Sundays (8am-10.30am) and can be seen around town in their hi-vis vests.

One of the most difficult tasks – especially during hot weather – is regular watering and Wetherspoon’s pub The Obediah Brooke has offered use of an outside tap.

Cleckheaton in Bloom secretary Angela Sugden said as well as the planters, the volunteers were also tackling weeds and grass on the pavements and they were also looking at doing more, alongside the council, in the Memorial Park.

Members had met with the local branch of the Royal British Legion and were seeking funding to plant up the inner circle of the war memorial. They also want to link up with schools and community groups.

“We have started small but we have big ideas,” said Angela.

“If the town looks attractive it brings a feeling of well-being for everyone.”

To join the group, search Cleckheaton in Bloom on Facebook or look out for the volunteers in town.