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These community pages provide information for residents and visitors. If you would like us to add something please contact us.
There is an active Community Forum which meets every 2 months and everyone is welcome to attend, meetings are held in Bedale Hall at 7.30pm; the meetings in 2017 are on
– 16 March
– 11 May
– 20 July
– 21 September (AGM)
– 16 November
The minutes of meetings can be found here:
Bedale & Villages Community Forum
In the early 21st century North Yorkshire County Council was successful in securing Single Regeneration Budget Funding for the County. The programme was to run for 6 years and provided an opportunity for all communities across the County to develop a ten-year Community Investment Prospectus (CIP) for their area. Community Investment Prospectus Groups were drawn together from the local community to identify local issues and local priorities across areas, such as social, economic, environmental; focussing on issues like tourism, safety, health, housing and transport and developing future plans.
Bedale became a Renaissance Market Town under the Yorkshire Forward RMT programme in 2003 and the 30 year vision was produced in 2004, this built on the work that had already been done by the CIP Steering Group. The Bedale Renaissance Charter identified key priorities for development; the Charter was signed by the local councils and business organisations. Bedale & Villages Community Forum took on the role of delivering on these priorities and has refreshed them over subsequent years.
By working across boundaries and with a multitude of partners, the Forum has accessed considerable funding that would not be available to public sector organisations and it has a flexibility that can respond to ever changing circumstances.
§ Membership of the Forum is open to any resident of Bedale and the surrounding rural communities and to others with a connection to the area who are interested in furthering the work of the Forum. The Forum seeks to reflect a balance between the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. Members must either live or work in the area.
Membership of the Forum includes:
Achievements & Impact
Public Realm Improvements
The Bedale Heritage Partnership Scheme attracted £750,000 from Yorkshire Forward and English Heritage to invest in improving commercial buildings in the Bedale Conservation Area. The funding has helped businesses and property owners with repairs to buildings, improvements to shop fronts and brought empty or under utilised space back into productive use. Private sector funding inputs then allowed other public realm projects to be undertaken: two key pedestrian access routes, at the side of the Assembly Rooms and past Fleece Cottages, have been resurfaced; street lights in the conservation area have been replaced and now have a consistent style; a series of fingerposts have been installed to help people – particularly visitors – navigate around the town; two new entrance signs to the town were also installed. Interpretation boards have been erected at strategic places and are well used; blue plaques have been placed on significant buildings.
Projects to redevelop the garage at Bedale Hall, now a Children’s Centre, and the conversion of the former Assembly Rooms into office space have also been completed and have proved very successful..
X-Nihilo Youth Centre (now Edge)
The need for a town centre based youth facility was identified in the RMT consultation undertaken in 2004. With support from the Bedale & Villages Community Forum, Bedale Youth Venue Ltd was formed to co-ordinate and manage the project. X-Nihilo has proved very successful and now provides a safe place for young people aged 13-19 to meet. It is based at the back of Bedale Hall.
WiFi in Bedale
A project funded by the Bedale & Villages Community Forum has brought free WiFi into the heart of Bedale. WiFi-enabling’ Bedale High Street was identified as a priority for the Bedale & Villages Community Forum and was a key element of the Bedale & Villages Community Plan. The project has been supported by Bedale Town Council and the Bedale Chamber of Trade & Tourism. The project enables residents, tourists and members of the business community living and working in the High Street in Bedale to access free high speed WiFi broadband. It is hoped that the project will help sustain the local economy, promote Bedale as an excellent place to do business and establish a ‘business quarter’ from which those travelling on the upgraded A1 can meet and/or communicate via the internet.
By working in partnership with the Bedale Hall Management Committee and CLANNET, a NYnet-approved local community internet service provider, the project has turned community aspiration into reality. With the emphasis now firmly on the long term future of High Street as a ‘community hub’ the group has pre-empted the Portas Report and has produced a low cost but effective solution to increasing footfall in Market Towns. The scheme is sponsored by Bedale Beauty and further sponsorship from local businesses is being sought. Users can access the sponsor’s websites without registering, but for full access to the internet registration is required.
Following the publication of the Bedale and Villages Community plan which identified the potential of developing this site, Hambleton District Council, Yorkshire Forward and the Wensleydale Railway Company have invested in the site to re-open the station and create employment through creating craft workshops.
Tourist Information Office and Promotional Material
Since the Forum was established 2 promotional leaflets for Bedale have been produced. Following Hambleton District Council’s decision to no longer manage the Tourist Information Office in Bedale, the Forum, in partnership with Bedale Chamber of Trade and Tourism and Bedale Hall, supported the volunteers who had previously delivered the service. The TIC now acts as a local source of information for both residents and tourists, seeing 9000 visitors a year.
Development of the Bedale Renaissance Market Town Masterplan highlighted the need to improve communication within Bedale and the surrounding villages and to create different avenues to promote local businesses. A small editorial group came together to develop a publication called the Bedale Bugle – this was a community newsletter that provided information from a range of organisations from Town and Parish Councils to voluntary groups and businesses. But this was impossible to sustain and communication needs are now met through the use of the internet.
www.bedale.org is the official community website for Bedale with pages for the Town Council and all the other villages in the Forum area (unfortunately unused) but has a comprehensive business directory and information on accommodation and places to eat for tourists. There is now an active Twitter account @OfficialBedale and a Facebook page /OfficialBedale.
The Forum, in partnership with other local groups (Scouts and Guides, Chamber of Trade and Tourism and Town Council) recognises the value events make to the vitality of market towns and has invested in organising a summer and Christmas event each year since 2004. The events are to provide entertainment and fun for the community as well as improving Bedale’s reputation as a visitor destination.
Other projects supported by the Bedale & Villages Community Forum include
Annex A: Management & Decision Making: The Constitution
Annex B: Finance
Bedale & Villages Community Forum benefits from the Yorkshire Forward share of the rent from 17 Market Place, this enables it to give grants to projects which can then be used as match funding for applications for grants from other bodies.