Following initial interest in a partnership-style organised public meeting in February, we can announce that the next meeting will on Fru 11 May in the Nelson Room of Pontefract Town Hall, where the Society hopes this emerging group will move to the next stage of its initial development as an organisaton.

Pontefract Civic Society and WMDC Street Scene Team coordinated the February public meeting to engage with the local community to test the viability of starting a friends group to develop the Valley Gardens. Peter Cookson, chaired the meeting, and speakers included Jim Heap from the Valley Gardens Bowling Club, Jill Lofthouse from WMDC, and Bob Evison prepared some potential designs for a long term vision connecting the gardens to the town centre with a grand entrance off Southgate, Bob went on to consider a possible expansion of the gardens. Some ideas to stimulate interest for a toddler play area, benches, bins and hanging baskets were shown on display boards by the Civic Society. Cllrs Garbutt and Walsh offered supporting comments at the start of the evening, both referring to greater family use for this heritage jewel in the heart of Pontefract.

“Over twenty names were submitted, which was a great start” said Paul Cartwright, Civic Society Secretary, who went onto say, “The next stage will be a meeting after Easter to formally constitute the group, so than further community consultation can follow in order to get the right ideas for what type of park or gardens the people of Pontefract want to see. This will then help determine which funding opportunities are needed to support the required projects.

If you missed the meeting, and you want to get involved then please contact Pontefract Civic Society by email on or telephone 01977 708658.