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Harborough District News.

News and features from Harborough District Council -  June 2024


Phil Knowles
Leader of Harborough District Council

Welcome to your June newsletter!

I'm pleased to confirm that new funding has been identified to provide additional upgrades as part of the leisure centre refurbishments at Lutterworth and Market Harborough.

A figure published by the council confirms that the Harborough district remains well protected from speculative housing development.

At just over six years (6.17) the council has a housing land supply in excess of the five years required by government. This places the council in a strong position to refuse planning applications from developers for land that has not been allocated for housing by the council in its Local Plan. You can read more here.

We welcome our new Council Chairman Cllr Peter Elliott who has taken over from Cllr Barbara Johnson this week. We wish him well in his new role.

On 6 June we will take time to remember and honour those who bravely took part in the D-Day action and we commemorate this, the 80th anniversary. 

It is volunteers week from Monday 3 June to Sunday 9 June. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful volunteers across the Harborough district who spend their own time and work hard to support our communities. 

There are lots of exciting events taking place across Harborough district this summer. I hope to see you there! 

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

Best wishes,


Cllr Peter Elliott announced as new Council Chairman


Cllr Barbara Johnson and new Chairman, Cllr Peter Elliott.
With thanks to Andy Carpenter for the image. 

Councillor Peter Elliott has been elected as Chairman of Harborough District Council for the 2024/25 council year.

Cllr Elliott received the chain of office from outgoing Chairman Cllr Barbara Johnson at the Annual Council meeting on Monday 20 May 2024.

The Chairman, whose role is ceremonial, represents the council at civic functions and at local events around the district.

Cllr Elliott said: “I consider it a great honour to be asked to serve as chairman of Harborough District Council, and I look forward to meeting as many people as possible in the district over the coming year.

“I have lived in Scraptoft all my life being educated at Thurnby C of E School and Gartree High School, Oadby, and have worked in the horticultural industry.”

Cllr Elliott was elected as a Harborough District Councillor in Thurnby and Houghton ward in 2013 and was Vice Chairman in 2023/24. He has been a member of Scraptoft Parish Council for the past 31 years and chaired the parish council for 29 years. Together with being instrumental in the planning and building of the new community hub in Scraptoft.

Cllr Elliott’s interests include gardening and painting, and he is an avid railway enthusiast.

The new Chairman’s chosen charity for the year will be Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

New funding identified to boost leisure upgrade project


Lutterworth Sports Centre upgrades are well underway with the new gym, featuring 100 stations and a fresh look and feel, as well as the improved group cycling studio, due for completion in August.

Other upgrades will take place to the group exercise studio, pool and reception area, while the well-being hub will be relocated to the other side of the centre. 

A new soft play for under-fives will also be housed in the reception area, alongside a café.

Meanwhile a 14-week project to create the new gym with 115 stations at Harborough Leisure Centre has begun.

The temporary gym and group exercise facility is available in the bowls hall while the refurbishments are ongoing. 

Upgrades will include top-of-the-range Life Fitness equipment as well as Hammer Strength weights kit, Wattbikes, as well as Theraguns to aid recovery.

Works will begin on the pool from Monday, June 10 to include the introduction of sensory lighting and pool imagery, with the area set to reopen in August with an exciting new Atlantis pool inflatable.

Other areas due to be refurbished at Harborough Leisure Centre include the wellness studio, group cycling studio, outdoor courts, café, changing village and reception.

Excitingly, in a new development to the project, £250,000 of the capital investment has been reallocated between both centres based on need. 

The funds were identified to be used for solar panels at Harborough Leisure Centre. However, following a grant awarded by Sport England, Swimming Pool Support Fund, to finance the solar panels outside the project, this money can now be re-directed for use across both centres.

The funds will be used to improve poolside areas at Lutterworth, including the showers, toilets and changing cubicles as well as improvements to the sports hall floor and reception area.

Additional enhancements at Harborough Leisure Centre now include dry side changing facilities, toilets and reception area.

Everyone Active are keeping both members and visitors updated on social media channels and via dedicated websites for both Lutterworth Sports Centre and Harborough Leisure Centre and so far the response from the local community has been glowing! 

Feedback received online so far includes: 

"Impressive work. Well done to all involved and Thank you."

"You've all worked so hard and still provided us with our group fitness classes amongst it all. Much appreciated" 

"Used the gym this morning, love the space! Well done guys" 

"Well done on setting it up so fast! Went to a group class this morning and it was great, a lot more space than I expected."

Read more about Leisure centre improvements

Local networking event delivers revolutionary global success! 


When former Leicester, England and British Lions rugby player, Tim Stimpson visited Harborough Innovation Centre and met George Fox, Managing Director of Hedkayse at a popular Spotlight networking event, a groundbreaking new project was conceived.

Hedkayse created a revolutionary sports headguard with superior coverage of the head, which has been approved for use by World Rugby.

The cutting-edge headguards deliver a massive 75% reduction in linear impact from a direct blow and it’s unique design means it better protects delicate areas of the brain including the occipital lobe.

By reducing the force of these impacts, Hedkayse hope to mitigate the risk to long-term brain health of players.

If you'd like to join the guest list for the next Spotlight event, or other future events, contact the Harborough Innovation Centre team today or book online.

Tel: 01858 414 200 


Read more about Hedkayse' exciting story

D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations


The Battle of Normandy, which started with the beach landings on 6 June 1944, was a bloody battle with tens of thousands of casualties on both sides. 

There are several events and activities planned across Harborough district to mark the 80th Anniversary, as we take some time to remember and honour those who took part.

9am on Thursday 6 June – Flag raising ceremony at The Symington Building (meeting near the Old Grammar School).  This will be attended by local veterans and Council leaders, and will see the raising of a special commemorative flag that will be flown in towns and cities across the Nation.  A short declaration will be read out, as it will be across the country, and a prayer will be said by the Revd Phil Bryson from St Dionysius Church. The veterans will be invited to stay afterwards for a hot drink. 

7pm on Thursday 6 June – Commemorative Church Service at St Dionysius Church, Market Harborough.  Lead by the Revd Phil Bryson, a Service of Commemoration and Remembrance will be the main event in Market Harborough to mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.  It will be attended by Council leadership, veterans including those from the Royal British Legion and Royal Naval Association, members of the local Sea, Army, Air and Police Cadet organisations, and the town’s Scouts and Guides groups amongst others.  Members of the public are very welcome and are encouraged to come along. 

Weekend of 8-9 June – Harborough Indoor Market 1940s Weekend.  Taking place all weekend, members of the public are invited to come along and see the stallholders transport themselves back in time for a 1940’s weekend event commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day.  This will be a wonderful chance for 1940’s enthusiasts to come down and sample the style and memorabilia of the era.  Members of the public dressing in the fashion of the time is strongly encouraged!

There are two Beacon Lighting Ceremony’s taking place on the evening of 6 June:

Lutterworth - Lutterworth Town Council will be hosting a Beacon Lighting on the Coventry Road recreation ground on Thursday 6 June to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.  Food and drink will be available to purchase from 8pm-10pm, there will be music from Lutterworth Town Band.  The Beacon will be lit at 9.15pm. 

Lubenham – Lubenham Parish Council will be hosting a Beacon lighting at 9.15pm 

Read more about D-Day commemorations

Join in with Great Big Green Week


Harborough district-based businesses and organisations are invited to attend an inspiring Go Green workshop to learn from esteemed speakers sharing insights into their groundbreaking sustainability initiatives.

The workshop will be held in Foxton Village Hall on Wednesday 12 June from 9.30am - 2pm. 

We'll be shining a spotlight on the extensive support available, including our invaluable grant schemes designed to support and boost innovation, green technology, cultural activities and much more!

Take this opportunity to connect, learn, and make a tangible difference in our district's journey towards a greener, more sustainable future. Book your free space today!

Find out more about council initiatives and commitments to fight climate change.

Great Big Green Week events

Harborough district remains well protected from speculative housing development


Figures published by the council confirm that the Harborough district remains well protected from speculative housing development.

At just over six years (6.17) the council has a housing land supply in excess of the five years required by government. This places the council in a strong position to refuse planning applications from developers for land that has not been allocated for housing by the council in its Local Plan.

National planning policy in England requires councils to have enough sites ready for development to meet their housing need for the next five years. If councils cannot demonstrate five-year supply, national planning policy takes precedence over local planning rules. If a site can be considered to deliver ‘sustainable development’ then planning permission should be granted, even if there is no support from the council for housing in that location or the site sits outside the Local Plan.

Read more

June is Pride month

Pride month is an annual celebration of the many contributions that people from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning + (LGBTQ+) communities have had on our history, society, and cultures, not just in the United Kingdom but worldwide. It is celebrated in the month of June in commemoration of its roots in the Stonewall Riots of June 1969.  

Bill Clinton, officially designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and later in 2009 Barack Obama, chose a more inclusive name for the month; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.  

It’s a time to remember that this month (and every month!) is all about inclusivity, acceptance, and recognition for our LGBTQ+ communities.  

The Progress flag will be flown for a week (date-date) to acknowledge and support Pride Month.  

Leicester Pride Festival will take place on 31 August 2024 at Abbey Park, Leicester. 

Fabulous summer events on our doorstep!


There are a range of exciting events planned across the Harborough district over the spring and summer time. From fetes and fairs to vintage revivals and heritage walks - there's something for everyone!

Check out our handy interactive online map to find outdoor activities, visitor attractions, family days out, indoor fun and more! 

Also find cycle maps, local Fitcation active escapes and Taste The Place inspiration to make your summer go with a swing! 

If you're hosting an event please get in touch with our tourism team by email at: 

To keep updated with local and visitor events across the Harborough district, read our latest Tourism e-newsletter or subscribe now for free to receive the next issue straight to your inbox! 

Find events across Harborough district

Park and Stride to school 


Despite the rain, we had a great turnout for our first #WalkThisMay Park and Stride schools event.

Families and staff from St Joseph's Catholic Voluntary Academy joined us on an extended walk to school via Welland Park, completing a 'Walking Bingo' card on their journey, to encourage the families to take in the park surroundings during the walk.

We were also joined by Choose How You Move Leicester & Leicestershire, Learning South Leicestershire School Sports Partnership and Active Anita, who brought some excitement in the rain!

The event was designed to encourage active travel (walking, running, cycling etc) to school which will not only help develop a healthy lifestyle but also work toward wider impacts such as less congestion outside the school, in turn creating a cleaner air environment for our community. 

If your school would like to take part in an Park and Stride event please get in touch with our Active Team by emailing:

Find out about weekly walks in Harborough district

Everyone welcome at Lutterworth Job Club

The next Lutterworth Job Club is taking place at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth on Friday 7 June 2024.

Everyone is welcome to come along. Whether you've been retired for a while, are currently employed or unemployed, are considering returning to the workplace after a break or a recent school leaver - support is available for everyone.

Professional careers advisers and training providers will be available to share advice and support, confidentially. They can help you find skills training and adult learning courses or voluntary roles to give you the experience or new skills you need for your next career move.

Also find 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

What is hate crime?


Hate incidents and hate crime are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident.

The police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate incidents.

They say something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

  • disability
  • race
  • religion
  • transgender identity
  • sexual orientation

This means that if you believe something is a hate incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to.

All police forces record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics, as well as including a category for ‘any other perceived difference’ in order to align with Leicestershire Police’s recording of hate.

Find out about the difference between hate incidents and hate crime. 

If you know of any incident or crime you think is hate related, you should report it.

How to report hate crime

Residents urged to report fly-tippers

Fly-tipping is illegal. Whether you are tossing discarded fruit from your car, spitting gum onto a street or dumping dog poo bags in hedges - It's all littering.

We are urging people to be mindful about disposing of waste correctly to protect our natural resources, wildlife and the environment.

Our envirocrime vehicles patrol littering hot-spots and have a dash-cam fitted to catch criminal behaviour on camera. 

Residents play a big part in protecting our district from criminal fly-tippers by reporting fly-tips and illegal behaviour.

We are also grateful to the dedicated volunteers, including the South Leicestershire Wombles, who regularly collect discarded waste and litter to help keep our district clean and green.

If you see any fly-tipping across the Harborough district, or want to report a litter hot-spot, you can report it online or via email to:

Please remember, if you pay someone to dispose of your rubbish it is your legal responsibility to ensure they dispose of it correctly. 

Always ask to see a valid waste carrier license & check the registration number is valid on the official register.


Council officer, (left) and Cllr Woodiwiss (right) pictured with campaign artwork on a local refuse vehicle.

Advice about fly-tipping

Support local with Harborough Lotto


The Harborough Lotto is Harborough District Council's weekly online community lottery raising money for local charities, community groups, and sports clubs.

  • Players can win up to £25,000 with a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize each week
  • Play for £1 per week with 60 pence from every £1 ticket going to good causes
  • Players decide which good cause to support

Players must be 18 years old or over and resident in the UK.

For more information on how to play and to buy tickets online visit the Harborough Lotto website .

Always play responsibly. If you need advice or support around gambling, visit the Be Gamble Aware website.

It is FREE for organisations to join the Harborough Lotto and you receive lots of help to promote your cause. You can spend the proceeds however your organisation needs.

So, if you’ve not already signed up, it’s a great time to join the Harborough Lotto and start raising money in a matter of days!

Harborough Lotto

Show us your favourite parks and open spaces 


Love Parks week is back from 26 July - 4 August 2024!

We'd love to hear all about your favourite picnic place, dog walk, open space or park in the Harborough district.

Whether its a blooming wildflower area, a shady tree-lined picnic spot or a super slide in a children's play area - please send us your photographs and tell us why it makes you smile.


Find parks and open spaces in Harborough district

It's not too late to enter!


It's not too late to enter our Young Trader market event! 

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 Traders 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:

Neighbourhood Planning workshop 


On Saturday 18 May council officers held a workshop to 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 activities.

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 talks were well received by our communities who made some very kind comments enjoyed round table discussions and a Q and A session. 

Many delegates commented that they would like another session later in the year and regular events after that.

Read more

Parliamentary general election - what you need to know 

A Parliamentary general election has been set for 4 July 2024.

You need to register to vote in UK elections if you've never registered before, have moved house or have changed your name. 

The deadline to register to vote in this Parliamentary general election is Tuesday 18 June 2024.

Voters in England now need to show valid photo ID to vote at polling stations. Check out what forms of photographic identification are accepted.

If you don't have a valid form of photographic identification then you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is Wednesday 26 June.

You can apply online for a postal vote or, if you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can ask someone else to vote on your behalf (a proxy). Apply for a proxy vote online. 

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


Dates for your diary 

Find more events across Harborough district
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