A NEW “early help” hub will open in Holme Wood next Autumn after a £1.4 million scheme was approved by Bradford Council bosses.

The TDF centre on Broadstone Way will undergo a major refurbishment to create a facility that brings together different Council, health and voluntary services.

The aim will be to work with local families to tackle any problems at the earliest possible stage - preventing people from falling into the care or criminal justice systems.

Bradford Council’s Executive board approved the plans for the centre at a meeting yesterday - when members were told that the hub would be the first facility of its type in the Bradford District.

The centre will undergo a major refurbishment under the plans, and the hub will work alongside existing facilities such as sports facilities and a community cafe.

Claim that ‘People of Holme Wood have been failed’ - eight years on from regeneration plan being drawn up

Lisa Brett, Head of Service for Early Help, told the Executive the hub would bring together children’s services, adult services, neighbourhood services as well as the health sector and voluntary sector. She said: “These groups would work together to be the first all age hub in the District. It will help to intervene early to prevent things from escalating.”

The building’s refurbishment will include improvements to the cafe and library on the site, with Mrs Brett saying: “Local people will be better able to access local services.”

Members heard that the hub should be ready by September 2021.

Last month during a meeting of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, members discussed plans for a retail development in Holme Wood. During that discussion members raised concerns that there was minimal reference to the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan - a document produced in 2012 to plan out future development in the area.

After hearing that the plan was never officially adopted - members said the Council had “failed the people of Holme Wood.”

A report from that meeting featured in the Telegraph & Argus, and some Councillors referred to the story during yesterday’s meeting.

Councillor Michael Johnstone (Lab, Tong) represents the Holme Wood area. He told the meeting: “I’m very supportive of this hub in Holme Wood.

“But I’m concerned there is no reference to the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Plan. That plan has had quite a bit of news coverage recently. I’d ask officers that this important plan for Holme Wood be taken into account.”

Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “This is something the Tong ward Councillors have put a huge amount of effort into that plan to not be referencing it. It is fundamental as to how Holme Wood develops in the future.”

Councillor John Pennington (Cons, Bingley) claimed it was a “strong coincidence” that a report detailing the investment in the centre was released a day after the story in the Telegraph & Argus.

He was told that the investment had been in the planning stages for over a year.

After the funding for the centre was approved, Cllr Hinchcliffe added: “This is the first hub of its type in the District, and I hope to see many more.”