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Harborough District News.

News and features from Harborough District Council -  March 2024


Simon Galton
Deputy Leader of Harborough District Council

I'm pleased to confirm the budget for 2024/25 has been approved by Full Council with the council’s portion of council tax frozen this year from April, maintaining a band D property at the same level since 2022/23 (£177.97).

We have agreed the reinstatement of the planning enforcement compliance officer post so we can be more proactive on enforcing planning conditions.

We continue to support Harborough communities and deliver savings and benefits across the district, including exciting investments with £1 million of grants available for towns and parishes to bid for.

Our new Environmental Grant Scheme will provide funding for 'not for profit' organisations to support projects delivering a positive impact on the environment and benefiting communities. Village groups, community enterprises, charities, and town or parish councils can apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £20,000. Please do get involved if you can. 

The Police and Crime Commissioner election is taking place in Harborough district on 2 May 2024. Your polling card should arrive with you by post in early April if you are registered to vote. Please remember it is a requirement for everyone voting in person at a polling station to show valid photographic identification. Read the article below for details on how to register for a postal vote

A winter spruce up in Broughton Astley included re-tarmacking, installing fresh planting and seating, erecting more visible signage and repainting lighting columns in the town centre.

There is also a new cycle rack in Lutterworth, with more set to follow, and a new skate park in Kibworth.

Do check out the updated Visit Harborough website. With Easter just around the corner, there are a huge range of fabulous events to look forward to including Birdsong Beginner waterways walks, a Steampunk market, and more!


Council budget confirmed


The council's final 2024/25 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (2026/27 to 2028/29) has been approved by Full Council. The council aims to support residents with the on-going cost of living issues, whilst investing into towns and parishes and ensuring the council remains financially resilient.

The budget priorities for 2024/25 delivers a freeze to the council’s portion of Council Tax this year from April, maintaining a band D property at the same level since 2022/23 (£177.97).

Green bin charges and car parking charges will also be frozen and Harborough district will benefit from a repeat of last year’s free car parking on Saturdays throughout December to support local businesses.

Additional business rates income from Magna Park near Lutterworth along with a government grant that recognises housing growth have given the financial flexibility to afford these proposals.

The council will boost support for community resilience including sandbag supplies for parishes at risk of flooding, and supporting work relating to bidding for external funding streams. Funds will also be used to support health and wellbeing with the wider implementation of the Leisure and Young People’s Strategies and the addition of two new waste collection vehicles to the existing fleet. 

The council will continue with its Capital Programme over the next four years, which will see investment in local projects up to £30 million. These projects include the development of Lutterworth Town Centre Heritage Action Zone, potential investment into solar farms and temporary homeless provision, as well as a £6 million investment into enhancement and refurbishment works to Harborough and Lutterworth leisure centres.

The production of the new Local Plan 2020-2041 is also being funded to ensure the Harborough district is protected from speculative development. Budget has also been allocated for the procurement of the authority’s new waste contract and to progress the council’s strategy to become Net Zero by 2030.

Find out more

New Environmental Grant Scheme launched


Our new initiative set to empower communities to be greener has now opened to applications. 

The Environmental Grant Scheme provides financial support to constituted 'not for profit' organisations within the Harborough district to encourage them to undertake capital projects with a demonstrable positive impact on the environment.  

Village groups, community enterprises, registered charities, and town/parish councils can apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £20,000.

Successful applicants must demonstrate a clear benefit and a positive, proven impact on the environment, aligning with one or more of the following outcomes:  

  • Reduce the carbon footprint of the community: Projects that actively contribute to lowering the carbon footprint of the community 

  • Reduce the waste produced in the community: Communities striving to reduce the amount of waste produced within their boundaries, fostering a culture of responsible waste management 

  • Create, or protect and enhance, biodiversity or environmental assets such as green spaces and waterways: Initiatives focused on creating, protecting, and enhancing biodiversity, as well as safeguarding environmental assets such as green spaces and waterways 

  • Educate and/or raise awareness of climate change that will result in one of the above outcomes: Proposals that aim to educate and raise awareness about climate change, ultimately leading to one or more of the above outcomes, will be considered as part of this scheme. 

Read more

Freshly updated website for events in Harborough district

Welcome to Harborough district

People can now look for great places to stay, exciting activities to see and do, local shopping, attractions and leisure experiences on the freshly updated Visit Harborough website.

Over 30,000 visits to the site were recorded in 2023 and the new, sleeker version makes it easier for users to browse and navigate, as well as find special offers and exciting events with the Visit Harborough Events Calendar filling up quickly for 2024.

Discover a diverse array of super events in the Harborough district catering to all ages and interests.
From charming village gatherings to engaging book clubs, enchanting snowdrop walks to laughter-filled comedy nights, captivating theatre performances to nostalgic vintage events, and conscious vegan gatherings to heritage craft showcases – there's something for everyone.

Check it out and expand your social horizons whilst supporting your local community!  

We encourage local businesses and events planners to reach out to Visit Harborough for support in promoting your tourism business or event on their our events calendar and social media channels. Just email:

Read more

Changes to postal and proxy voting


The Police & Crime Commissioners Election is taking place in Harborough district on Thursday 2 May 2024.

You need to be registered to vote in elections. You will need to register again by 16 April 2024 if you have changed your name, address, or nationality. Check online to see if you are registered.

There are changes to postal voting. You can now apply online to vote by post and will need to prove your identity when applying either online or on a paper application, you will also have to reapply every three years.

You can apply for a postal vote for the elections but your postal application must be received, either online or a paper form by no later than 5pm on 17 April to vote by post in this election.

Apply online to vote by post online or download and complete an application form

Don't forget that you now need to show photographic identification if you are voting in person at a polling station.

To contact the Harborough District Council Elections Team email: or call 01858 821372.

Read more

Accessible activities in rural Harborough district


Arnesby Women's Institute enjoyed a new age kurling session with an officer from our Active Harborough Team in February. The group session was attended by 20 ladies, some in their 80s and 90s, to try the accessible activities. Our officer reported that it was a very competitive afternoon, enjoyed by all. Further activities sessions are set to follow.

In partnership with VASL and social prescribing partners, the Active Harborough team delivered some boccia and new age kurling activities at St Cuthbert Church in Great Glen recently.

Events like this in our rural communities can help combat loneliness and isolation in addition to being great fun! Visitors to the session enjoyed trying out new activities and chatting with both old friends and new.

Our Active Harborough team are keen to engage as much as possible with our rural community as everybody deserves the same care and attention.

If you are part of a rural community group and would like to try some accessible events, please contact the Active Team today! 



Speed Campaign and Fatal Four Coming to Market Harborough


Pictured: The Hazard Express Vehicle

In partnership with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue, the striking 'Hazard Express Vehicle' will soon be making its first visit to Market Harborough.

Owned by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue, and created in conjunction with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership, the Hazard Express Vehicle is currently making a tour of the county to raise speed awareness and improve road safety.

This unique road safety vehicle vehicle is kitted out with specialised seats including virtual reality headsets providing guests with a Virtual Insanity Experience – utilising virtual reality technology to help to educate drivers through an immersive learning experience.

The Hazard Express will be visiting The Square in Market Harborough on 9 March 2024, along with the new Community Safety Partnership Vehicle, a fire engine and crew, and police.

Find out more

Harborough Innovation Centre: the perfect place to meet, network, and grow your business


Harborough Innovation Centre provides a range of bespoke support to help businesses establish, grow, and thrive in the comfort of a forward thinking and nurturing environment.

Offering a wide range of drop-in workspaces which can be hired by the hour, day or week, Harborough Innovation Centre draws entrepreneurs of all levels to the centre which, in turn, enhances the creative growth of the tenants based there. Naturally, with biomass heating, rain-water recycling and EV chargers and cycle-shelters on-site, the centre attracts progressive, socially, and environmentally conscious businesses.

Friendly, dedicated staff meet and greet visitors, confidentially handle calls, and manage incoming and outgoing mail so growing enterprises are free to concentrate on building their core business without the inconvenience of additional administration tasks.

Tenants are invited to link up with skilled business advisers who regularly visit the centre and can provide free, bespoke guidance. Covering essentials such as finance management, resource, and strategy, they are also experts in grant funding and can support business development at all levels and stages of progression.

It’s no wonder that businesses are so enthusiastic about the outstanding service they receive at Harborough Innovation Centre.

‘’For us, it was all about location…and we do drive electric cars so having the ability to charge our car here makes it really convenient’’ – Jason Brice – Redwood Benefit Services Ltd’’

Read more and watch the new video

Find handy links and services online 24/7


Following the successful launch of a range of online council services, residents have reported high levels of customer satisfaction.

The most requested top three online services recently have been:

Completing an online form can be quicker than calling customer services and the forms can be accessed and submitted at any time, day or night!  

Here are some handy links to a range of our online services and information: 

Join in and celebrate International Women's Day

Find out more

Community grant funding available for Lutterworth area


GLP (formerly Gazeley) as developer and owner of Magna Park, has an ongoing Community Fund initiative to support community and voluntary organisations to deliver local projects within the geographical area surrounding Magna Park.

The fund forms part of their corporate social responsibility and is entirely on a voluntary basis.

Lutterworth Area Community Projects Limited (LACPL) administer and manage the distribution of financial contributions on behalf of the local community.

The fund aims to support a wide range of projects and organisations. Including education, commercial, well-being and health, sport and recreation, environment, community connectedness and youth activity.

The maximum amount of funding available per project is £175,000. The minimum amount is £2,500.

Anyone can apply but all applicants will be subject to compliance and verification checks. The maximum amount that can be awarded to individuals or informal groups is capped at £5,000.

Projects must be within close proximity of Magna Park and fall within the administrative Parish boundaries of: Ashby Parva; Bittewsell & Bittesby; Claybrooke Parva & Magna; Cotesbach; Lutterworth Town and associated parishes; Misterton & Walcote; Monks Kirby; Pailton; Ullesthorpe; Wibtoft and Willey.

Read more

Sign up for garden waste collection before 22 March 


The Garden Waste collection subscription service is open.

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.

Subscribe online

Free bystander training

Would you feel confident to make a difference in the life of another?

We all have the potential to make a difference, active bystandership is a skill that can be trained, and can help you to become a better friend, colleague and neighbour.  

Why not book onto a free online bystander training session to help equip you with knowledge, confidence and a set of useable options to make and be that difference?

•    Monday 18 March 2024, 1pm - 3pm

•    Tuesday 2 April 2024, 1pm - 3pm

The session aims to help you to:

•    Better understand both what prevents and motivates bystander action.
•    Learn how to respond safely in challenging situations to help prevent violence and support victims.
•    Practise your responses to a challenging situation.

The session is particularly relevant for frontline staff who work out in the public domain but are also relevant for all people in their everyday lives.

If you wish to be the difference and attend, please email the Community Safety Team at:

Save the date!


The next job fair will be held at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth on Friday 5 April 2024.

Come along to speak with multiple local employers across a range of sectors with real opportunities on offer. You could even have an informal interview there and then!

The job fair is open to everyone, whether you are unemployed, employed, a school leaver, returning to the workplace after a long break, or just want to check what's out there.

You can also find careers advice, local apprenticeship roles, free training courses, CV support and more!

You don't need an appointment. Just pop in any time between 1pm - 3pm.

In the meantime, our dedicated jobs support web pages can help you find support with a whole range of topics, including:

Becoming Self-Employed

Training and qualifications

Resources and support 

Apprenticeship opportunities

Local jobs

Volunteer roles

If you're a local employer looking for fresh talent for your workforce get in touch today and register your interest at the next job fair, or future events in Harborough district! Email:

Find out more

Find the right medical support quickly 


If you need help urgently and it isn’t life threatening, please use the NHS111 service to be directed to care in the right place for your medical problem.

NHS111 can help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can either call 111, use NHS111 online or use the NHS App.

All three routes will ensure that you are assessed and, if you need to be seen, an appointment can be arranged at a local service, such as an urgent care or urgent treatment centre.

You can use eight urgent care services without an appointment, but it is advisable to use NHS111 to ensure you are guided to the most appropriate service with a confirmed appointment time or arrival time slot. This will minimise waiting times and, for locations where there are fewer appointments available, it will avoid long waits or signposting to alternative services.

The following locations can be used without an appointment:

•    Loughborough Urgent Treatment Centre
•    Oadby Urgent Treatment Centre
•    Merlyn Vaz Urgent Care Centre
•    Market Harborough Urgent Care Centre
•    Lutterworth Urgent Care Centre
•    Enderby Urgent Care Centre
•    Melton Mowbray Urgent Care Centre
•    Oakham Urgent Care Centre

Find out more about local urgent care services

Canal & River Trust: Waterways Wellbeing Walks


Explore the Canal & River Trust Waterways Wellbeing Walks Series starting at the Canal basin, Union Wharf, Market Harborough.

The walks series provides a great opportunity to meet new people in a beautiful setting. It's also perfect for boosting both physical and mental health and it's free to take part!

All walks start at 10:30am, are beginner-friendly, accessible, (on newly resurfaced paths) and leisurely paced, lasting around 2 hours.

Scheduled walks:

  • Beginner Birdsong Canal Walk: 12 March 2024

  • Sensory Canal Walk: 19 March 2024 

  • Sensory Canal Walk: 9 April 2024  

To find out or or to book, email:

Find out more

Considerate parking plea


On 9 February 2024, Market Harborough Fire Station teamed up with Cllr Darren Woodiwiss, Cabinet lead for Environmental and Climate Change, and officers from the council to raise awareness of the dangers of problem parking, particularly in Market Harborough. 

Double parking and inconsiderate parking on corners and by junctions cause issues in residential areas with narrow streets, with some being completely impassable to large emergency vehicles. 

The aim of the posters is to raise awareness and remind residents to always consider emergency access when parking.

Also regularly affected are refuse collecting vehicles which, if unable to access the route, are unable to empty household wheeled bins which causes delay and additional cost as crews try to return to the affected properties to complete rounds.

Owain Raymond Watch Manager Market Harborough said: "We understand these streets are narrow and most families now have two cars, but access is always required for emergency vehicles. Please avoid double parking and keep junctions and corners clear at all times."


Dates for your diary 

  • 7 March: Farmers Market, The Square in Market Harborough

  • 9 March: The Hazard Vehicle is at The Square in Market Harborough

  • 12 March: Beginner birdsong canal walk

  • 19 March: Sensory canal walk 

  • 24 March: Steampunk at Harborough Market  in Market Harborough 

  • 30 March: Artisan Fair on The Square in Market Harborough

Find more events across Harborough district
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