Transition Belper Newsletter February 2014

Newsletter February 2014

In this issue...

Transition Belper meeting – Wednesday 12th February 2014, 7.30pm at Strutts Community Centre

We're delighted to welcome Nathan Jackson as our guest speaker this month on the subject of permaculture. Those of you who made it to Belper Goes green last year will remember Nathan's Green Health stall with the bicycle smoothie maker, smoky potatoes and wild garlic and his irrepressible enthusiasm. Nathan has moved on to his own land and a new venture called Hillside Permaculture. He's just been awarded 1,600 trees and will no doubt be seeking volunteers to help plant them. It seems there are hundreds of courses and books on the subject of permaculture - including some run by Nathan himself - but what is permaculture, how does it affect us and how might we apply these principles in our own gardens? As permaculture and transition are aligned and intertwined I think its about time we found out more. All welcome.
Last month's presentation by Jerome Baddley will be added to the web site as soon as it it made available to us. I'm sure there will be many more questions arising - in the end 1 hour and 15 minutes was not long enough and we have been asked to bring Jerome back for a whole evening dedicated to his talk.

Social Evening at the Grapes

Our monthly pub social is being held this Tuesday - 4th February - at the Grapes, High Street, Belper for 7.30pm. This is a real local's community pub almost in the centre of Belper and with some decent beer. All are welcome to socialise, chat and enjoy the company and ambience - see you there. 
The March social evening is at Arkwright's Bar below the Strutts Club on Campbell Street on Wednesday 5th March. This is the fairly recently opened new micro-pub and will be a first opportunity for many of us to have a look around.

New Afternoon Social 'Get-togethers' 

For those who prefer to socialise during the day, we have created a new 'get-together' event to be held every third Monday of the month at 1pm. We will be tasting the delights of the local cafes, have a chat and get to know our community and each other better. The first meeting will be on Monday 17th February at 1pm at Fresh Ground opposite Ritz cinema. We hope you can make it. For any further information, ring Kathy on 07779412702. 

Meadows Edge - what came out of the meeting with Tesco?

Tesco are looking to sell most of the locations they own. This is a relatively new project for Tesco as they have only recently decided to sell the land. The current situation and initial ideas are;

  • Main factory site, cleared this year following fire – Initial idea is to sell to a developer for housing and a care home. Talks have started with AVBC regarding care home.
  • ‘Castle’ building and Thornton’s factory still standing – Initial idea is to sell to a developer for a mixed use, food and non-food development.
  • House on corner of Roundabout – Not aware of specific plans, no obvious reason not to sell.
  • Firestone House plus parking – Not aware of any initial plans.
  • Land, flood plain, between Morrison’s and River is leased to Rugby Club – no reason to change.
  • Land, flood plain, end of Derwent Street to River (inc. skate park) is leased to AVBC – no reason to change.
Tesco were fairly open to ideas and had no specific timetable. Ideas raised included:
  • selling the site to a community led development trust
  • Slenderella sees a potential opportunity to use part of the site for manufacturing. They are looking for a 30-40,000 ft2 site for manufacturing & distribution and if they have the location and space a significant factory shop and a Brettles museum.
  • a smaller manufacturing site is being sought and felt it would be better to use the site creating work for residents of Belper rather than adding to the dormitory status of Belper.
  • Concerns were raised about the idea of housing and care home surrounding the existing properties not owned by Tesco, including Drop Inn. Part of the Drop Inn success is its location away from housing. Also the chance to use the site to offer positive activities for young people using the centre (such as manufacturing, with apprenticeships and jobs).
  • To help improve the offering to young people could an indoor ‘extreme sports’ facility be developed between the existing Drop Inn facility and the skate park?
  • One of the key ideas from the SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) was the significant opportunity to develop a leisure centre facility that would link with the existing Football, Cricket, Tennis, Hockey and Rugby clubs. This should include better vehicular access, rather than current access via triangle. Since SPD the idea of smaller leisure centre has been raised in town centre but now on hold. Potentially a great opportunity if funding available. 
  • The location of this land is special for the world heritage town of Belper. With the river as a potential ‘seafront’ and the original green views on the opposite side of the river this is a one off opportunity to create an exceptional development fitting for its location.
  • Significant discussion took place about a local Masterplan needed to satisfy the SPD for the area between the A6 and the River Derwent, and more importantly a fuller town Masterplan or Neighbourhood Plan that took into account all elements of Belper to be a more sustainable and resilient town. Several funding/resource opportunities to develop a Neighbourhood Plan were discussed, including Tesco helping to fund a locally produced plan using local skills and knowledge. 
A further meeting will be organised with a wider invited audience to be held at Belper School.
Tuesday 4th March - Climate Week event - a special meeting at Strutts
To mark Climate week there will be  a special meeting to discuss energy supplier switching and to hear the latest plans from ADVyCe. Hosted by Rural Action Derbyshire, Joe Dugdale will go through the ins and outs of switching. Please bring your energy bills with you so we can run through some worked examples. Mike Shamesh from the People's Power will also explain their switching scheme. Amber and Derwent Valley Community Energy (ADVyCE) will also bring you up-to-date with the latest developments of the proposed hydro power scheme. The meeting starts at 7.30.
Climate Week Challenge - w/c 3rd March

Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. Culminating in a week of activities, it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society. Each year, half a million people attend 3,000 events in Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion. Events are run by schools, businesses, charities, councils and many others. Transition Belper have registered to take part in the Climate Week Challenge. If you would like to be in the Transition Belper team taking part please email David.

Gardening News

  • The Belper Gardening Club has taken off with a bang! Our first proper meeting was attended by 40 enthusiastic people who shared their ideas for future meetings, workshops, speakers and visits. Our next meeting will be held on 26th February at 19:30 in the Strutt Centre, during which we will have a speaker. More details to follow. For further information, gardening news, discussion topics, visits etc, visit our Facebook page at
  • We are in the process of discussing the possibility of transforming the rarely used Festival gardens park on Crich Lane (see photo below) into community gardens for everyone to use and enjoy. We plan to develop that area to include an orchard, vegetable and fruit beds, a family area, a social area, an educational area, composting and water collecting structures etc. If you would like to get involved in both helping to organise/use it, please email Kathy  or ring her on 07779412702.


  • The area of the train station which is still neglected, will soon be adopted by us as well and we hope to make it into a 'meadow style' area. Network rail have now agreed to repair the stone work, which will make the area safe for us to work in and we look forward to making the whole station look great. 

They will also be installing bigger and better shelters  soon and we hope to see bike parking installed too. We are looking for more volunteers to help us with this award winning project. If you can give even an hour a month and help us further improve the station, that would be really good. Please email Kathy or ring her on 07779412702 

Belper Goes Green Scarecrow competition

Travel & Transport Group

The main Transition Belper monthly meeting on 13th March will be dedicated to all things Travel & Transport. We are busy planning workshops and information to help you choose more sustainable travel options. There may also be a chance to have a go on a smoothie bike! More to follow in the March newsletter.....

The Travel & Transport Group meet monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month; the next meeting is 27th February, The Old King’s Head, 7.30pm.
Please contact Jennie for more details.


Badminton Social Club

If you enjoy getting fit, having fun and socialising, come join us at Belper Leisure Centre every Saturday morning at 9 - it's a great way to start the weekend. It's only £1 for the hour; shuttlecocks are provided and we have 1 spare racket.  


The Co-operative Group is celebrating a very special occasion as it commemorates 150 years of delivering great quality products and services with a trip to Manchester. The coach will drop off outside the People’s History Museum in the centre of Manchester. This tells the extraordinary story of people at work, home and leisure. Visitors can discover how working people lived from cotton workers in Victorian Manchester to today’s professional footballers, plus many more exhibitions. 
The day is open to participants to travel around the city at leisure; however, we encourage a visit to the National Football Museum at the Urbis Building in the Cathedral Gardens where you can take the opportunity to get your photograph lifting some of the most iconic trophy designs in world football, as well as seeing the world’s finest collection of football artifacts and archives with interactive objects, games and displays.
The coach will pick up from the Coop in Belper at 9.00. To book your place please send your name, address and phone number to: Member Relations Office, Midlands Co-operative Foodstore, 471 - 473 Burton Road, Littleover, Derby, DE23 6FQ along with a cheque. Seats are £10 per family (2 Adults, 2 Children), £5 per adult/ £2.50 per child (Under 18) and cheques shoule be made payable to MCS Ltd

Are you with us? Become a member for just £5

Full membership of Transition Belper costs just £5 per person per year. Our membership is for the calendar year so now is the time to join or renew your membership. Your membership fees help to cover administrative costs such as insurance, web site hosting and meeting rooms. Whilst we apply for other funds for specific projects or raise small amounts from the Food fair stall or raffles at meetings, membership means the Core Group and Trustees don't have to dig any further into their own pockets to keep things running. We'd very much like to welcome you as a full member and in return you'll be able to vote at the AGM and enjoy slight discounts for some events and for the Transition Free Press paper.
You can download a Membership Form here, then add your details and return it to us at Transition Belper Membership, 10 Spencer Road, Belper DE56 1JV together with £5 cash or a cheque made payable to Transition Belper.

February and March meetings and events

  • Tuesday 4th February - social evening at the Grapes, High Street, Belper from 7.30
  • Wednesday 12th February - Transition Belper meeting at Strutts at 7.30 with guest speaker, Nathan Jackson from Hillside Permaculture who will explain what permaculture is and what it means in practice.
  • Tuesday 25th February - Belper Goes Green Meeting at the Queen's Head at 7.30
  • Thursday 27th February - Travel and Transport Group meeting at the Old King's Head at 7.30
  • Tuesday 4th March - Climate Week event - a special meeting at Strutts to discuss energy supplier switching and to hear the latest plans from ADVyCe
  • Wednesday 5th March - Social evening at Arkwright Bar, 5 Campbell Street Belper from 7.30
  • Thursday 6th March - Core Group meeting - please email Richard if you have any ideas or items you would like adding to the agenda
  • Thursday 13th March - Transition Belper meeting at Strutts at 7.30- Travel & Transport theme
  • Monday 17th March - Energy Descent Action Plan meeting at the Old King's Head at 7.30
  • Tuesday 25th March - Belper Goes Green Meeting at the Queen's Head at 7.30
  • Thursday 27th March - Travel and Transport Group meeting at the Old King's Head at 7.30

Transition Belper Facebook Group
Keep up-to-date with the latest developments and join any discussions on Facebook. Join us here

Belper's fruit and veg grower's forum
There is a Facebook Group locally for exchanging tips and ideas for your garden and anything to do with growing fruit and veg. Join the Forum here
A Local group to advertise for Recycling, Upcycling, Neighbourly Help & Advice, Lending & Borrowing in the DE56 Area. Join us here

Belper Gardening Club
The new Facebook page for members of the newly formed Gardening Club - supported by Transition Belper. Join us here

The trustees of Transition Belper are:
Chair - 
David George
Secretary - Richard Keighley
Treasurer - Adrian Rochford
Core Group - Craig Scott  
Core Group and Community Gardens organiser - Kathy Fairweather
Core Group and Transport Group leader - Jennie Lindop
Trustee - Mick Hepworth
Trustee - Tony Cooper
Trustee and webmaster - Lynne Henley
Trustee - Maurice Neville
Trustee - Dick Watson

Or you can contact us via the Transition Belper email address:
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