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Harborough District News.

News and features from Harborough District Council -  May 2024


John Richardson
Chief Executive of Harborough District Council

Welcome to your May newsletter!

There is so much taking place across the district this spring! 

I'm pleased to share details about the £1,547,416 Section 106 funding agreed to support exciting community projects in Fleckney, Medbourne, Gilmorton and Little Bowden. We also welcome the opening of the new Scout and Guide facilities in Thurnby, thanks to grant funding support. 

Work has started at Lutterworth Sports Centre with exciting upgrades planned, to gym areas and equipment and the installation of a brand new soft play area, as part of the investment agreement with Everyone Active.

We've also launched the rural arts, creative, heritage and cultural grant and encourage applications from organisations and businesses across rural Harborough district.

The grant aims to enhance existing and new visitor activities with investment in capital development projects. Eligible organisations can apply for a minimum of £5,000 grant funding up to a maximum of £20,000 with 10% of total project cost required by match funding.

We're continuing to support action against climate change with the planning application approved to install 103,000 solar panels at Wistow Lodge Farm off Fleckney Road which will provide cleaner, renewable energy to power a massive 13,465 properties annually; around 30% of Harborough district’s homes!

The Police and Crime Commissioner Election is taking place across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland on Thursday 2 May 2024. Don't forget to take your photograph identification if you are voting at a polling station.

Please read on for news on proposals about changes to Lutterworth Market Car Park and your chance to have say.

Feel welcome to book your free space at our Neighbourhood Planning workshop which supports work undertaken on behalf of Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums, as we continue to engage and listen to the voices of our residents. 

Please scroll down for all the latest news, events and service updates.

Best wishes,


Funding boost for Harborough projects


Harborough District Council’s Cabinet Sub Committee for Grants agreed, on 10 April 2024, to allocate £1,547,416.62 to five projects in the Harborough district. 

The projects are benefiting from Section 106 money which is provided by developers for community projects and social infrastructure in locations where development has taken place. 

The projects which successfully applied for funding are: 

•    Gilmorton Community Playing Fields Association – £184,731.60 to extend the existing pavilion to improve child safety and additional changing and meeting room facilities

•    Medbourne Parish Council – £28,748.19 for a footpath on the edge of the sports field joining the end of the existing village footpath to the sports club

•    1st Bowdens Scouts Group – £48,691.57 to construct a larger replacement Scout Hut

•    Fleckney Parish Council – £1,235,245.26 to build a state-of-the-art sports centre with improved community and sports amenities and additional changing and toilet facilities

•    Fleckney Village Hall – £50,000 for car park improvements and additional parking space.

Read more about S106 funding

Lutterworth Sports Centre improvements underway


Following Council's decision to award the leisure contract to Everyone Active at a meeting in December 2023, the refurbishment of Lutterworth Sports Centre has begun.

The exciting programme of works started at the sports centre on 29 April, and it is anticipated this work will be completed by August 2024. 

Here are some key dates for visitors to Lutterworth Sports Centre to look out for:

29 April: Well-being Hub closes 
3 May: Gym closes for refurbishment 
4 May: Temporary gym opens in sports hall 
28 May: Reception and entrance to cycle studio closes, temporary reception opens 
29 May: Group cycle studio classes move into the dance studio  

Everyone Active are keeping both members and visitors updated via their social media channels.

Work is planned to start at Harborough Leisure Centre on 20 May 2024, with an anticipated completion in December 2024.

Harborough district's largest solar farm approved


A solar farm, which will be the largest in the Harborough district, will be created in Wistow after approval by Harborough District Council’s Planning Committee.

The installation of 103,000 solar panels at Wistow Lodge Farm off Fleckney Road will power 13,465 properties annually - around 30% of Harborough district’s homes - helping to tackle climate change.

In addition, the solar farm will have a planned lifespan of around 40 years and a maximum capacity of 49.99 megawatts making a substantial contribution to renewable energy generation levels.

After 40 years, the site will be decommissioned and returned to its agricultural use.

Landscape enhancements and ecological mitigation such as hedgerow and tree planting and grassland enhancement will also be implemented at the site to minimise any impact of the development.

For information about planning applications visit

Find out more

Opportunity to host The Big Weekend!


Leicester Comedy Festival is seeking new venues for 2025.

Would you like to reach new audiences and be part of an amazing community of promoters, venues, and comedians?

In particular, they'd love to hear from spaces that are fully accessible, cafes and dry spaces and more unusual and quirky venues.

You don't need to have comedy experience and you could choose to host anything from stand-up comedy to film screenings and quizzes.

Harborough BIG Weekend 2025 will be running from 12 - 17 February 2025. 

If you're interested then complete this short form & start your journey to taking part in one of the biggest comedy festivals in the UK!

Leicester Comedy Festival

Community grants for Thurnby and Lutterworth


Thurnby Scout and Guide Headquarters. With thanks to Bruce Wakley for the image. 

The grand opening of the new entrance area to the Thurnby Scout and Guide Headquarters was held on 20 April. S106 funding of £110,855 was awarded towards this exciting project which included access improvements and shower and toilet facility.

The much-anticipated Church Gate Community Centre in Lutterworth has opened following a two-year transformation.

The project received £90,000 from Harborough District Council - £20,000 from S106 developer contributions and £70,000 from the Platinum Jubilee Community Capital Fund.  

The facility will host the local foodbank along with a number of activity and support groups.

You can find out more information about Section 106, the available Planning and Community funds, how to apply for funding and useful links to more resources on our dedicated community grants web pages.

Planning and Community Grants

Remember your photo ID


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

If this is the first time you're voting in person or you'd like a reminder of how to vote at a polling station you can watch this handy video created by The Electoral Commission. 

Refer to your polling card to find your designated polling station or check online using your postcode and address.

Polls will be open from 7am - 10pm. 

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

Rural arts, creative, heritage and cultural grant is open


The Harborough district rural arts, creative, heritage and cultural grant is open to applications from businesses and organisations providing arts, creative, heritage and cultural activities for public participation in rural areas of Harborough district.

The scope of the grant is to enhance existing and new visitor activities by investment in capital development projects.

Eligible organisations can apply for a minimum of £5,000 grant funding up to a maximum of £20,000 with 10% of total project cost required by match funding.

Before you apply, please read the guidance for the fund including eligibility criteria. 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your project, please contact

The closing date for applications is 26 July 2024 

Find out more

Drop in days in Lutterworth


As part of the Lutterworth Public Realm scheme which has been extracted from the option 1 element in the Lutterworth Town Centre Masterplan, we would like residents and business to drop in and look at the concept options for this project which will enable the area to meet the needs of the growing community for the future.

The dates are as follows:  

Public Consultation Day 1 is taking place on 15 May 2024: Lutterworth Town Hall 9.30am - 4pm

Public Consultation Day 2 is taking place on 18 May 2024: The Wycliffe Rooms 11.30am - 3pm

Walk this way in May....


Physical exercise supports positive mental health. It stimulates our bodies to produce natural feel-good hormones which can make our problems seem more manageable.

There are some beautiful walks in Harborough district, or you could join a local walking group and make some new friends too

Walking groups:

Meet: Broughton Astley Library
Day / Time: Thursdays 1.30pm
Sign Up - Fill in this form before attending

Meet: Market Harborough Medical Centre, 67 Coventry Road, LE16 9BX
Day / Time: Mondays 10.30am
Sign Up - Fill in this form before attending

Meet: The rear of the Shambles pub in Lutterworth town centre
Day / Time: Mondays 1.30pm
Sign Up - Fill in this form before attending

Meet: Harvest Road, Wellington Place, Market Harborough
Day / Time: Mondays 4pm for a 30-45 minute walk utilising the country park and canal foot paths
Sign Up - Fill in this form before attending

You could also find inspiration with our range of village heritage trails, which are free to download and feature interesting historical facts and with easy-to-follow routes. 

There are a range of Kibworth heritage walking trails too. 

Alternatively, if you've been inspired by the recent London Marathon, you could try a Park Run, or junior Park Run in Lutterworth or Market Harborough


Take steps to improve your mental health


Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 takes place from 13 to 19 May, and the theme this year is “Movement: Moving more for our mental health", which also ties in with May being National Walking Month. 

Find details about local walking groups and walking routes in the above article.

Spending time gardening can also be beneficial for your physical and mental health. You could always plant some pollinator plants and flowers to support nature and attract bees, butterflies and birds to your garden or flower box.

A dance around singing or listening to music is another free way to boost your endorphins and make things seem better, or visiting a local park or open space and spending time by water or by trees and nature can help too. 

Find a range of exercise classes at Lutterworth Sports Centre or Harborough Leisure Centre, including indoor cycling, aqua aerobics, and mat-based classes as well as personal training sessions in the gym to suit all levels of fitness and flexibility. 

There is a hydrotherapy pod at Harborough Leisure Centre, which provides water-based, effective therapy, rehabilitation, and fitness support. Contact Harborough Leisure Centre to find out prices and book your session.

You can also find out about Everyone Active's GP Referral Scheme. It's the perfect way for people with long-term health conditions to move more to improve their health and well-being.

If you would like to find seated or other accessible exercise classes or local well-being waterways sessions, please email our Active Team who will be happy to help you:

Remember: You are not alone. If you can't face going out just now, that's okay, but please don't struggle with difficult feelings on your own. Do reach out. Practical support and advice is available.

For urgent mental health support please call the free helpline: 0808 800 3302

It’s a 24/7 freephone helpline for people of all ages in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland offering round the clock access to urgent support, signposting, & referral for yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

Find mental health support locally

Sign up for garden waste collection 


The Garden Waste collection subscription service is open and the 2024/2025 collection season begins in April 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.

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.

The cost for the annual subscription is £61 per bin. The price has been frozen and is the same cost as for the previous 2023/24 collection service. 

Subscribe online

Taking action on noise


Noise Action Week is taking place from 20-25 May 2024.

Repeated noise disturbances can be a source of stress and irritation but the person responsible for the noise may not be aware of the effects that the noise is having.

Where possible, discuss the problem with them, as this will often resolve the issue and help maintain good neighbour relations.

If you are worried about approaching them, write a polite letter, explaining the problem clearly and sticking to the facts. You can use our example template letter as a guide on what to include.

The most common sources of noise pollution are:

  • stereos / televisions

  • loud music

  • persistent dog barking

  • parties and functions

  • house intruder alarms

  • construction and demolition including DIY

  • noise from vehicles and equipment in a street

  • fireworks

You can submit a noise complaint via our online forms. A Statutory Nuisance is where the actions of another are unreasonable and cause a substantial interference with the use and enjoyment of someone’s property or are prejudicial to health.

You should read the information and guidance about noise and nuisances before making an official report.

Further information can be found on our Community Safety pages

If you have concerns around crime or anti-social behaviour please do contact the Community Safety Team by emailing:

Find out more about the Community Safety Team

Wellbeing garden set to flourish at Harborough Leisure Centre

A new, accessible wellbeing garden has been established at Harborough Leisure Centre.

It is hoped the green space can improve both the physical and mental wellbeing of the local community, with research linking gardens and gardening to long-term reductions in heart disease, cancer, and musculoskeletal conditions.

The project was funded by East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group, a precursor to the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board, as part of a fund awarded to Primary Care Networks for the development of mental health services in the community. 

Designed by Harborough-based business Jon Elliott Garden Designs, the garden includes an accessible pathway, four raised planters which can be filled with a variety of plants, a paving area and a shed provided by Albany Sheds.

Harborough Leisure Centre, run by operator Everyone Active in partnership with Harborough District Council, is now looking for volunteers to help with the garden’s upkeep, as well as those open to taking a leadership role in organising the various groups that will come into the garden.

For more information, please email


Matthew Hopkin, Contract Manager at Everyone Active (centre, in black shirt) launches the new wellbeing garden at Harborough Leisure Centre with a team of helpers

Get your career moving at Lutterworth Job Club

The next job club will be held at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth on Friday 7 June 2024.

The Job Club 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.

Training providers and careers advisers will be on hand to help you find training courses or voluntary roles to give you the experience or new skills you need for your next job.

You can get help in finding local job opportunities or apprenticeship roles and support with CV writing, job applications and how to prepare for an interview - giving you the tools to help you move forward in your career with confidence.

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

Save the date for the next Job Fair which will take place at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth on Friday 2 August 2024.  

If you're a local employer looking for fresh talent for your workforce get in touch today and register your interest for the job fair or other recruitment events in Harborough district.

Find out more

Action on antisocial behaviour


We have received some reports of antisocial behaviour caused by the use of quad bikes and off-road motorcycles.

Our Community Safety team are installing signage in hotspot areas warning of the police power to seize vehicles used in an anti-social manner.
As with all crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) please ensure incidents are reported to the police via their website or if it is a crime in progress by telephoning 101 or 999.

You can view local crime figures on the police website

Solar Together to launch new round of auctions


Harborough District Council declared a climate emergency in 2019. The Council has committed to reducing its own emission to net zero, as far as practically possible, by 2030. We also want to support residents, businesses, and communities in Harborough District to reduce their emissions too.   

Solar Together provides a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the group buying power to get the best deal on solar panels, providing renewable energy and which will help fight climate change. 

Harborough District Council has partnered with independent experts in group-buying, iChoosr Ltd, to bring this opportunity to Harborough’s homeowners. 

Solar Together Harborough is an innovative scheme offering high-quality solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery storage. 

It is a group-buying scheme, which brings Harborough households together to get high-quality solar panels at a competitive price, helping you through the process and keeping you informed at every stage.  

The next phase of the Solar Together Harborough campaign will launch in June 2024 so keep an eye out for more details, coming soon, on our dedicated web page.

Lutterworth Town Centre goes live with new wifi and footfall system


We have introduced new free Wi-Fi to benefit visitors and businesses in Lutterworth town centre.

The installation of a new digital footfall system will bring a helpful package of benefits and information to support local businesses. 

Connection to the Wi-Fi will show users how the town centre is being used, what days of the week are busier and how long visitors are staying. 

This information can help businesses to plan their opening hours and indicate the success of organised town events. The latest marketing data can also be shared to registered users about local visitor promotions and news.   

Independent business owner, Ian Jones of Max Electrical, said: “Our shop in Church Street is in the centre of Lutterworth so we are pleased to house one of the three antennae units. Knowing how people are using the town centre will be useful to know. The bonus of free Wi-Fi will encourage people to stay longer in town which is good news for local businesses.” 

Shoppers can access free Wi-Fi in the central areas of Lutterworth by selecting 'Lutterworth Guest Wi-Fi' on their mobile devices with a simple once only sign on.  

Wi-Fi is now available in both Lutterworth and Market Harborough.  

Find out more

Neighbourhood Planning workshop 


The Symington Building in Market Harborough

Residents with a keen interest in neighbourhood planning in Harborough district are invited to attend a workshop to help support work undertaken on behalf of Parish Councils or Neighbourhood Forums.

Attendees will join key members of the Council's Planning Team for an exciting event where we'll be discussing Neighbourhood Planning in Harborough District.

Neighbourhood Planning is a legal framework which gives communities direct power to shape development and growth in their local area. By creating and maintaining an up-to-date Neighbourhood Plan, which is closely aligned with the needs and priorities of the local people, towns and villages across the district can ensure that community requirements and ambitions are considered when granting planning permission for new development and infrastructure.

The workshop will take place at The Symington Building on Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough, in the Council Chamber on Saturday 18 May from 10:00am - 2:00pm. It will cover a range of important topics and provide practical guidance for already designated or newly formed Parishes and Neighbourhood Forums, with a mixture of talks from key speakers and interactive workshops. 

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Spaces are limited so booking in advance is essential

Book your space now

Enter now!


Applications are now open! 

If you or someone you know are aged between 16 - 30 and have a skill, craft or business idea sign up to take part in our second Young Trader market event on Saturday 22 June 2024 on The Square in Market Harborough.

It is completely FREE to enter and you will be provided with a table and gazebo if needed.

The Young Traders Market campaign is grouped into four different categories — Food and Drink, Arts and Crafts, Grocery and General Retail.

It has grown into an incredibly successful campaign with young trader events held on markets up and down the country. The winners go on to regional finals involving a total of 250 young traders, and 90 young people progressing to the final.

As well as the winners, there are two highly commended businesses in each category.

If you are interested in applying or would like further information please email:

Find out more about Harborough Market

Knife crime awareness

This twice yearly police-led campaign will run week of 13 - 19 May; Operation Sceptre’ is about education and enforcement designed to educate young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

It targets those who carry weapons and aims to disrupt the sale and supply of knives through the delivery of school education packages, extra patrols, social media messaging and promotion of knife amnesty bins. 

Find out more

Dates for your diary 

Find more events across Harborough district
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