Application which could change the future of Raincliffe Woods

27/08/10 News'John Bradley,Chairman of the Friends of Raincliffe Woods looks out on the site of the old sawmill where he would like to see a visitor centre built...'103463b
27/08/10 News'John Bradley,Chairman of the Friends of Raincliffe Woods looks out on the site of the old sawmill where he would like to see a visitor centre built...'103463b

An application is set to be made this week which could see Raincliffe Woods transferred over to the community by Scarborough Council.

The Friends of Raincliffe Woods are due to submit an expression of interest as part of the council’s Community Asset Transfer Plan.

Members of the group are hoping that in the future, the woodland could be run as a not-for-profit social enterprise for the benefit of the community.

The project could involve the creation of educational facilities, a visitor centre and a cafe.

John Bradley, chairman of the Friends of Raincliffe Woods, said: “Things are going really well at the moment.

“I can’t believe it was just three months ago we were just kicking this idea around.

“Now we’ve got lots of people approaching us and wanting to get involved.”

Mr Bradley added that the group was also in the process of making a £100,000 Lottery bid to put towards the project.

They should find out whether the bid has been successful in October.

He said: “I’m more than happy with how things are going. There’s been so much interest and support.

“More doors are opening to us now. Things are looking really good at the moment.”

Mr Bradley and the Friends group have been working with social enterprise adviser David Hassall, of Seachange.

He confirmed that once the expression of interest form had been submitted to the council, he and Mr Bradley would press on with finding more like-minded people who would like to get involved.

Mr Hassall said: “We’re working on identifying appropriate individuals to form an interim board to work on the formation of a social enterprise.”

He explained that the expression of interest is being submitted under the Friends of Raincliffe Woods name, but that they were looking for more people to come on board and form a new group specifically for the new project.

Mr Hassall added: “Members of the interim board would work on putting together a more detailed plan.”

He said that in general, things are moving along well but are still at a fairly “embryonic” stage.

He continued: “The community asset transfer meetings have been extremely useful.

“Lot of groups have been represented there.”

A meeting of the working group is due to take place at the council today.

Then next month, members of the public are invited to a meeting to discuss the issues surrounding social enterprise at Yorkshire Coast College’s business suite in Lady Edith’s Drive.

The meeting on Thursday October 25 starts at 6pm, but the room will be open from 5.30pm for coffee.

Mr Hassall said: “The meeting is intended for those with an interest in developing a social enterprise. There will be at least one other group speaking about it.”

There will be more detail about the meeting nearer the time. Everyone is welcome.

A meeting at the same venue back in May sparked interest in the project, with a number of people asking fore more information.