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Harborough District News.

News and features from Harborough District Council -  September 2023


Phil Knowles
Leader of Harborough District Council

I hope you've had an enjoyable summer despite the mixed weather we have been experiencing. There are still lots of exciting and supportive events set to take place as we move foward into autumn.

Check out Arts Fresco, a free street theatre event which returns to Market Harborough on 10 September, and discover local secrets during the Heritage Open Days which begin on 9 September. 

Harborough Job Fair is back on Wednesday 20 September from 11am - 1pm, with a special quiet time session from 1 - 1.30pm for those who prefer a quieter visit. Local employers will be advertising their opportunities and careers and training advisors will also be available to help you reach your career goals.

If you are unemployed you can find tailored support with a new rural employment support programme to help find work.  

We also share details about grants for warmer homes and the next Big Community Switch launches on 4 September. Why not see if you can save money on your household energy bills.

If you are worried about your own mental health, or that of someone you care about, please take some time to find mental health support that suits you.We are approaching Suicide Prevention Awareness Day on 10 September 2023 and we strongly encourage anyone struggling to reach out to professional support groups. There is always help available.


Discover Harborough district’s local heritage with free open days 

Local landmarks, heritage sites and historic buildings across the Harborough district will be opening their doors to the public this September as part of the annual Heritage Open Days festival. 

The festival is a rare opportunity for people to explore, for free, sites that either usually charge or are not open to the public at all. 

Wonder at the oldest windmill in Leicestershire in Kibworth Harcourt, uncover the myths of a Masonic temple in Lutterworth, go on a wildlife safari to hunt for handcrafted wild animals, see behind the scenes of Harborough Theatre, take the Corset Reveal tour of The Symington Factory, enjoy a town centre blue badge heritage trail and more.

Find out more or book now!

Grant funding for households


Residents across the Harborough district are being encouraged to apply for funding to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and to help make them warmer and greener. 

The Home Upgrade Grant scheme, delivered through the Green Living Leicestershire partnership on behalf of Harborough District Council, supports properties that do not have mains gas as a primary heating system such as those with electric, heating oil, LPG or solid fuel heating. Households that only use gas for cooking or secondary room heating can still apply. 

The funding is available to improve warmth and comfort of homes, whilst also reducing energy bills, carbon emissions and levels of fuel poverty. Eligible households could receive free energy efficiency improvements or clean heating (such as air source heat pumps) for their homes, following a home assessment.

Find out more

Suicide prevention 

National Suicide Prevention Day is on 10 September 2023. There is no single reason why people die by suicide. People think of suicide for many different reasons. Sociological, economical, psychological and genetic factors can contribute to a person being at greater risk of suicide.

We all have mental health, and life is full of ups and downs for us all.

Don't struggle with difficult feelings on your own. Do reach out. Practical support and advice is available. 

Find help online. The NHS have a range of tips, quizzes, real life stories, mobile phone apps, and video guides online which you may find useful. 

Visit a Crisis Cafe to talk confidentally with trained and supportive listeners who can provide advice and practical tips. 

Call Mental Health Central Access Point on 0808 800 3302 if you have concerns about yourself of the mental health of someone you care about. Its open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free of charge.

In an emergency call 999.

Help is at Hand provides emotional and practical support for people bereaved through suicide or other unexplained death, and for those who want to support them. 

Find out more about suicide prevention and local mental health support networks.

Read more

Councils collaborate to crack down on fly-tipping criminals


Our Environmental Crime Team check waste carriers and we use CCTV, patrols and work closely with the Police rural crime team and now councils across Leicestershire are working together to clamp down on fly-tipping incidents in a new campaign '#itsallflytipping'

Fly tipping across Harborough district has reduced significantly over the last 4 years, thanks to residents disposing of waste correctly and checking waste carriers are registered, but there is more work to do.

Both businesses and householders have a duty of care to ensure their waste is not fly-tipped. 

You could be fined if your waste ends up fly-tipped and you cannot show that you took reasonable steps to prevent it. There are several ways to dispose of the waste that cannot go into your wheeled bins:

By working together with other councils we are raising awareness of fly-tipping and encouraging residents to report flytipping district-wide and help us catch the criminals blighting our beautiful countryside. 

Read more

Discover taste sensations across Leicestershire

Harborough Taste the Place 2023

A new campaign that puts Leicester and Leicestershire’s regional food, drink and tourism on the map is ready to serve up a great menu! Taste The Place showcases the great variety of delicious food and drink choices from an amazing selection of local independent businesses.

This exciting marketing campaign from Visit Leicester inspires and tickles the tastebuds of hungry visitors across 4 key themes:

•    A Taste of England
•    The World on a Plate
•    Food for Thought
•    The Home of Veganism

Taste the Place highlights our area's fabulous food and drink reputation by signposting to super indpendent resturants, eateries, bars, local producers and event hosts.

We are fortunate to have a huge range of wonderful pubs, cafes, tearooms, and restaurants across Harborough district with a wide variety of cuisines and tasty offerings. Watch our short video (above) to find out more! 

Look out for events taking place across Leicestershire and in the Harborough district.

Hit your career goals with support in Harborough district


Unemployed people in the Harborough district can move a step closer to employment thanks to a new council initiative.

The HIRE programme has been developed by Harborough District Council and will be delivered by the Rural Community Council (RCC), who have worked on similar programmes before such as Work Live Leicestershire. It is being funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Individuals accessing this programme will be able to have one to one support from the project’s key worker, who will support them to: 

•    Improve their confidence 
•    Identify barriers to employment and solutions 
•    Develop CV and interview skills 
•    Look at their skills and the jobs they could apply for 
•    Job search and applications  
•    Find volunteering opportunities  
•    Signposting and referring to other help and support.

Find more details and get in touch today!

Harborough Job Fair is returning to Market Harborough on Wednesday 20 September 2023

Come along to speak with employers about real local job vacancies. You could even have an informal interview there and then!

You don't need to make an appointment just pop in anytime between 11am - 1.30pm.
There is a special quiet time session from 1pm - 1.30pm for those who prefer a quieter environment.

Harborough Job Fair provides a great opportunity for you to speak with professional careers advisors, find information about local apprenticeships, volunteer roles, training opportunities and more.  

If you have a Harborough-based business and are looking for fresh talent for your workforce, get in contact today to book a space at the job fair or register your interest in future recruitment events:

Find out more

Exciting Comic Con event to raise charity funds


A Comic Con event at Harborough Market in Market Harborough has been organised by Snot Monkey to raise funds and awareness for Maggie's Cancer Care and all the good work they do nationwide 

The event is being held on Sunday 17 September from 10am - 4pm. Free parking is available in council owned carparks nearby. Entrance to the market is free and celebrities will be signing autographs for £10 each and 'selfie' photos for £5 each.

The Mortal Kombat team Daniel and Carlos a Pesina are making a first ever European appearance and will be charging £20 for an autograph and £10 for a photograph.

Funds raised will be donated to Maggie's Cancer Care.

The exciting line-up for the day include: 

  • C Andrew Nelson is the man to spend the most time in the Vader costume and did all the new footage for the 90s special edition of the movies

  • Christopher Ryan is a British character actor best known as Mike from the young ones as well as his 3 Doctor Who characters, Absolutely Fabulous and of course, one of the menacing Driscoll brothers from Only Fools and Horses.

  • Straight from CBBC we will be joined by the whirlwind that is Hacker 

  • Keeping all the parents happy Cobra from the 90s phenomenon Gladiators will be available for photos autographs.

  • Along with the DeLorean from Back To The Future 2 outside for photographs and general amazement. This is a road legal version with the cockpit fully decked out even the Mr Fusion on the back.

To round off there will be a multitude of characters from KopyKats Cosplay wandering round the market halls and outside to meet and greet visitors. See if you can spot your favourite super hero or Disney princess!  

The event will keep the whole family entertained, so make the most of the free entry and free parking and please come along to Harborough Market on Sunday 17 September to help raise awareness and funds for Maggie's Cancer Care.

Find out more

We stand with Ukraine 


On 24 August 2023 we reiterated our support for Ukraine by marking Ukrainian Independence Day.

The council continued to fly the Ukraine flag and turned the event lights on The Symington Building and around The Square in Market Harborough to blue and yellow.

Residents were also invited to show their support by placing a sunflower in their window at home as it is the national flower of Ukraine.

Over 280 Ukrainian refugees who have fled Ukraine are now living in the Harborough district after being taken in by individuals and families, many still living with them.

Harborough District Council has helped 14 homeless Ukrainian households.

Find information on how to support here

Save the date!


The Christmas light switch on in Market Harborough will be held on Saturday 18 November 2023. 

The popular Christmas food and drink festival will be on The Square from Friday 17 November to Sunday 19 November.

The Christmas Switch on event is going to be bigger and better than ever this year! To attract more visitors and to give more of the community the chance to attend, the switch on will be held on Saturday 18 November from 5pm until 8pm with the switch on itself at 7pm.

There will be lots for the family to enjoy with activities including live music, Christmas carols, street entertainment, and a visit from Father Christmas!

There will also be a great selection of food and drink plus additional Christmas gift stalls on Saturday 18 November.

Watch this space for more exciting information to come! 

Find events in Harborough district

Rural grant funding deadline extended


The application deadline for the Harborough Rural Grant Scheme has been extended until Monday 30 October 2023. 

Applications submitted by the original deadline, 11 September 2023, will be reviewed with an outcome in September 2023. (Tranche 1)

Applications submitted after 11 September and before 30 October 2023, will be reviewed in November 2023. (Tranche 2)

If all funds are allocated in tranche 1, the remaining applications will be reviewed and considered for the next round of funding which will be available from April 2024

Eligible applicants can benefit from grants between £5,000-£20,000 to support their business to diversify, innovate and grow. The council is keen to support exciting projects that will help local businesses and the wider economy and community.

Applicants must be based in rural areas in the Harborough district which can be identified in the grant policy and grant funding must be used on capital projects. This means you must spend grants on lasting assets such as a building or equipment.

The scheme spans across four themes:

•    Farm Business Diversification
•    Innovate and Grow
•    Green Technology
•    Rural Tourism

Find out more

Best of UK & European street theatre returns to Market Harborough


The popular Arts Fresco festival is back!!!

The annual one-day event is one of the largest, free street theatre festivals in the UK. First held in 2002, it is returning to Market Harborough on Sunday 10 September 2023.

With some brand new acts, and some old much-loved favourites - there's something to tickle all the family! 

So roll up to Market Harborough for a fabulous day of free street entertainment.
From 10am - 4pm you can enjoy wild entertainment with some of the best UK & European street theatre!

Why not make a day of it and check out the wonderful wide range of bars, restaurants and eateries that the town has to offer. 

There's lots going on in Harborough district. Don't miss out - check out other local events taking place! 

Read more here

Check if you could save on household energy bills


Following the success of the summer auction in which thousands of households nationwide accepted an offer to switch to an exclusive fixed tariff, the Big Community Switch is holding a new energy auction in early October 2023.

Big Community Switch helps residents switch energy suppliers, move to a renewable electricity tariff, and save money on their energy bills.

The scheme enables you to benefit from the bargaining power of a large group to obtain competitive energy rates. The new scheme launches on Monday 4 September.

Find out more

Dates for your diary

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