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Harborough District News.

News and features from Harborough District Council -  January 2024


Phil Knowles
Leader of Harborough District Council

Happy New Year!

At the end of last year I was thrilled to announce the investment into leisure centres in both Market Harborough and Lutterworth which safeguards leisure facilities for the future generations of our district. We will keep you updated via social media, local media and this newsletter.

Looking forward, a public conversation about the future of Harborough district and what the new local plan should contain is launching on 16 January, with the first public consultation in the preparation of the district’s new local plan. Find out more in the article below and please do take time to share your thoughts and views. 

The weather has been particularly challenging recently. Remember, never travel through flood water. You can check for flooding risk in your area online. Take care and do look out for vulnerable friends and neighbours if you can. 

We're taking steps to enhance cycling infrastructure across the district. As part of this we welcome your views on cycle shelters in Market Harborough town centre. Please share your thoughts by completing the survey  before the end of January

Life can be difficult, especially at this time of year and with the cost of living. Please don't struggle on your own. You can find help and signposting on our support pages.

If you're looking for a new job or apprenticeship role, advice with training opportunities, or you'd like some help developing a business idea, take a look at our website. You can also find support to get onto the career ladder with the HIRE programme.


New banking hub launches in Lutterworth


Cash Access UK – a company owned and operated by nine major banks has launched a new Lutterworth Banking Hub.

The hub opened in December 2023 and is based on the High Street in the former Lodge Farm Shop. It provides a counter service operated by the Post Office where customers of major banks and building societies can carry out cash transactions.

The hub will also feature a ‘community banker’ service with staff from a different bank available on each day of the week to help with more complicated issues.

Find opening hours and more detail here

Improve your employability this new year


Are you looking to get into work in 2024? The HIRE programme offers free employability support to help you improve your skills and move closer to employment. 

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.

You can find out more about the support by dropping into The Symington Building, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AG on Thursdays between 18 January - 15 February 2024, 10am - 12pm. 

This programme has been developed and funded by Harborough District Council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is being delivered by the Rural Community Council (RCC).

Find out more

Have your say on a new Local Plan for the Harborough district


A public conversation about the future of the district and what the new local plan should contain will run from 16 January 2024 to 27 February 2024, with the first public consultation in the preparation of the district’s new local plan, the ‘Issues and Options’ consultation.

Residents will be able to read the consultation document and submit their comments online, using the Council’s dedicated local plan consultation web page.

There will be an exhibition on the ground floor of the council offices in Market Harborough and in-person events will also take place at locations across the district where residents will have the chance to hear more about the issues and options and ask questions.  

  • 24 January: Market Harborough, Council Chamber at The Symington Building. 10.30am - 8pm

  • 31 January: Scraptoft, Scraptoft Community Hub, Lounge. 3.30pm - 7.30pm

  • 6 February: Lutterworth, Wycliffe Rooms, 3.30pm - 7.30pm

  • 7 February: Broughton Astley, Broughton Astley Village Hall, 3.30pm - 7.30pm

  • 13 February: Kibworth, Old Grammar School, Main Hall, 3.30pm - 7.30pm

Responses received during the consultation will be used to inform the next stage of preparing the new local plan. Once adopted, the new local plan will set out planning policies in the Harborough district up to 2041. It will make sure development meets strategic priorities for housing, employment, the environment, community facilities, transport and other infrastructure needed to support development.

The consultation document is available now for people who wish to have early sight of it. You can find it by clicking the button below.

Read more

Subscribe to the garden waste collection service in 2024


The Garden Waste collection subscription service will be open from February 2024.

As part of service improvements you no longer need an account or password to sign up to the service and recurring payments are no longer taken automatically.

To get the best value for your subscription please ensure you sign up by 22 March 2024, before the 2024/2025 collection season begins in April 2024.

You can put grass cuttings, leaves, flowers, weeds, twigs and small branches in your green wheeled bin which is collected fortnightly from the kerbside outside your home.

Read more

Calling all cyclists! 


In collaboration with Sustans, a charity that works to create and improve walking, we are looking to improve sustainable transport and enhance cycling infrastructure across the district.

As part of the Market Harborough Masterplan, we are reviewing existing cycle shelters and cycle stands in Market Harborough town centre.

Your opinions will play a key role in shaping the direction of sustainable travel in our community.

We would be grateful if local cyclists could please take some time to share their views our survey which closes on 31 January 2024.

Take the survey

Prepare to start up your own business


Starting a business is an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. Free support is available to Harborough businesses and residents looking to start up in business. To ensure you're ready, the Leicestershire Business Advice Service will help you to build a clear action plan. With access to experts who have started and run their own businesses, you will receive insights and guidance, as well as the option to attend tailored workshops on key start-up topics such as Regulation and Tax and Market Research.

Established businesses can also receive free support through the service to help them plan for growth. 

The set up of this service is a partnership between the seven district councils in Leicestershire, including Harborough District Council. It is being funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Find out more

JUST empowers women to try new activities


The JUST initiative kicks off on Monday 15 January 2024 and runs for nine weeks. The aim is to empower women to overcome participation barriers by offering a friendly, welcoming space to try out a range of activities including badminton, dance, fitness classes, karate, yoga and more. 

Participants don’t have to be sporty or have attended an exercise class before and the programme is designed for all ages and abilities.

JUST is the perfect opportunity for people to become more active in 2024.  

Being a member of the JUST community brings a host of benefits:

•    Free taster classes
•    Free merchandise on completion of a set number of weeks
•    Access to giveaways
•    Meet new and like-minded people in your area whilst getting active.

Find out more

Childminder Start-up grant now open


The Childminder Start-up Grant aims to help eligible new childminders in England get money towards the cost of setting up as a childminder. One-off grants of £600 are available to those registered with Ofsted, and £1,200 for those who register with a childminder agency.

Childminders who are registered as a new childminder after 15 March 2023 may apply. They must:

  • Work as a childminder in England

  • Have completed their Ofsted or childminder agency registration before applying

This grant is for new childminders only and the money is intended to support with the costs incurred with registering.

Childminders who registered between 15 March 2023 and 31 July 2023 must apply by 31 January 2024. Those who registered between 1 August 2023 and 31 December 2023 must apply by 29 February 2024.

Apply now

Take care of your health this winter 


There are some simple steps you can take to stay safe and healthy at this time of year – from preparing your home or business to taking care of yourself, your family and neighbours.

Sign up to receive weather alerts from the Met Office. They also provide some useful advice and tips covering everything from how to prevent frozen pipes to what to do in the event of a flood, helping you to be prepared and ready in the event of severe weather. Remember to check on friends and neighbours, especially if they are vulnerable and could need some support.

A Priority Services Register is a free scheme offered by utilities suppliers. If your supplier knows you have health issues or medical equipment in your home you will be prioritised in the event of a break to your supply.

Look after your mental and physical health and make the most of the natural light by going out for a walk. There are some beautiful walks across the Harborough district, or you could join a local walking group & make some new friends too.

Find local routes & walking groups or download free Harborough heritage trails and Kibworth walking trail.

Alternatively please check out this range of accessible exercise and groups available locally. 

Find accessible exercise in Harborough district

Everyone Wellness new membership package

Everyone Active are offering an exciting new membership package called Everyone Wellness!

Everyone Wellness gives you access to all the tools to help with your mind, body and wellbeing. You’ll get access to state-of-the-art gyms, swimming pools and group exercise classes at your chosen Everyone Active centre, as well as access to all other Everyone Active centres at the same membership price or less.

Members will benefit from Health Hero, a health care partner which offers either a telephone or video appointment with a GP within 24-hours of initial contact. You’ll also have access to Everyone On Demand, 14-day priority booking, monthly guest passes and personal training.

Find out more today!

Free Wifi available in Market Harborough town centre 


Visitors and businesses in Market Harborough town centre are now enjoying complimentary internet access, thanks to a collaborative effort by the council and suppliers.

The newly installed infrastructure allows anyone with a mobile device to connect to Wi-Fi without incurring additional costs. 

Shoppers strolling through The Square can access the free Wi-Fi by selecting ‘Market Harborough Guest Wi-Fi’ on their devices. Registration is a one-time process, as devices will automatically connect on subsequent visits. Opting in also grants users access to the latest information on local offers, shopping promotions, events, trails, and other town centre news. 

Plans are being developed to extend the free Wi-Fi initiative to Lutterworth in 2024. The system, once live, will not only provide internet connectivity but also track visitor patterns, offering valuable insights into the economic activity of both market towns in Harborough district.

Read more

Help to Grow Management Programme


Registration for the Help to Grow Management programme with Leicester Castle Business School is now open.

Offering a mix of online and in-person sessions with the in-person sessions taking place at the Harborough Innovation Centre.

The fully funded Help to Grow: Management Course will help you boost the performance and resilience of your business. Designed and delivered by entrepreneurs and industry experts at world-class business schools, this leadership course will provide time away from the challenges of running a business to invest in your leadership, and to learn how to take your business to the next level.

Find out more

Dates for your diary

  • 24 January: Local plan exhibition Market Harborough, Council Chamber at The Symington Building. 10.30am - 8pm

  • 27 January: Artisan Fair, The Square in Market Harborough

  • 31 January: Local plan exhibition Scraptoft, Scraptoft Community Hub, Lounge. 3.30pm - 7.30pm

  • 1 February: Farmers Market, The Square in Market Harborough

  • 6 February: Local plan exhibition Lutterworth, Wycliffe Rooms, 3.30pm - 7.30pm

  • 7 - 25 February: Leicester Comedy Festival

  • 7 February: Local plan exhibition Broughton Astley, Broughton Astley Village Hall, 3.30pm - 7.30pm

  • 13 February: Local plan exhibition Kibworth, Old Grammar School, Main Hall, 3.30pm - 7.30pm

Find more events across Harborough district
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