Holmfirth Transition Town initiative (HoTT) is focused on the Yorkshire town of Holmfirth and surrounding villages located a few miles south of Huddersfield amidst the Pennine hills. Holmfirth is a former wool town and is known to many people as the setting for the Last of the Summer Wine TV series. The town is in an area of high rainfall with several large reservoirs lying on high ground above the town. Whilst the area is relatively affluent, car ownership and longer distance car commuting are both higher than national averages. We also have a lot of older housing.
Formed in 2010, HoTT operates within the Holme Valley South Ward of Kirklees Council (population 18,890 in 2011), and has been supported financially by Kirklees Council and by the Cooperative Group who have funded various projects such as the Affordable Warmth Initiative and Feasibility Studies for Energy Projects. HoTT is also supported financially by its members.
HoTT events are supported by Holmfirth’s local Member of Parliament Jason McCartney MP, by local Parish Councillors and Kirklees Councillors and by HEAD, the Holme Valley Business Association. We also have links with other local community organisations, voluntary bodies and faith groups.
Aims and objectives
The primary aims of HoTT are to:
- Inform the community on climate change and how changes to everyday lives can save money and be good for the planet
- Lead or support energy saving and green energy generation projects for community benefit
- Encourage sustainable living, including reduced energy use, local food growing and buying, low carbon travel, increased recycling
- Connect with other Transition Initiatives and with local and regional Government
HoTT currently has three groups focused on specific themes:
- Talk (policy & communications)
Groups generally meet monthly and plan and execute various community projects and activities within the Holme Valley. Each group has a convenor who coordinates the group activities and attends the Management Group meetings – see contacts.
Since then, we have contributed to the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan Strategy and its implementation, to the Local Development Framework, to the Holme Valley Vision, and to Holmfirth Arts and Film Festivals. HoTT has been working to raise awareness of climate change and the possible emerging shortage of oil and are developing sustainable energy and other projects. We have shown and discussed films, held events on saving energy at home and on making older houses more energy efficient. HoTT has also held a Go Green Transport Show to highlight low carbon alternatives to travelling by car and have held four annual Bright Green Energy Shows to educate the community on energy saving and energy generation by renewables. HoTT has supported the Footpaths Initiative to inform participants through weekly programmed meetings on the ways to save energy and to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
HoTT has launched our first community energy project for a 225 kW wind turbine near Holmfirth. This renewable energy scheme, HoTTWind@Longley near Hade Edge, is now up and running, with some 200 investor members, 80% from the Holme Valley. This project generates enough green energy to supply 188 homes saving about 287 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, and is also generating funds for more low-carbon projects in the Holme Valley.
As a result of this experience, HoTT now has the expertise within our membership to take on on further community energy schemes, including raising funds from the local community,