Monthly Archives: January 2012

Getting to Grips with Localism – An Introduction

This is the first in our series of guides on the Localism Act. Over the coming weeks we will look in detail at various aspect of the Localism Act. But this first instalment looks at what the Government wants to achieve with the Act and, in summary, at what the Act contains. The Government’s primary aim with the Localism Act is to shift power away from central government and towards local people. In the words of Greg Clark, Minister for Decentralisation: “the best means of strengthening society is not for central government to try and seize all the power and responsibility for itself. It is to help people and their locally elected representatives to achieve their own ambitions. This is … Continue reading

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Kirkwells featured on

Michael Wellock, Kirkwells Director, writes a regular blog piece for, in his latest piece Michael talks about the challenges for the town thrown up by Localism. “In these tough economic times the places that do well will be the ones that can do things for themselves. OK, we have had a lot of help from central government and others over the years. But we also have a long history of making things happen ourselves. And that is because of the talent, imagination and in-built tradition of hard work you find in Burnley.” Things that in Michael’s opinion have been evident in the long and proud history of Burnley: “Take the old Prestige factory. Now converted successfully for other uses. … Continue reading

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Solar Parks

Natural England (NE) have used the term ‘Solar Parks’ to describe ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) modules covering an area of between 2 and 15 hectares.  Other terms frequently used to describe such installations are ‘Solar Farms’ or ‘Large PV Arrays’.  It’s interesting that the use of words like ‘parks’ and ‘farms’ hint at a use that would be benign in a rural area and it can be, with the right design and location. Key environmental factors in choosing an appropriate location for solar parks are: Landscape (designation, character, visual, geology and geomorphology); Soil (protection and husbandry); Watercourses (protection); and Biodiversity (protection and mitigation). Along with more technical issues of the available solar resource and a suitable grid connection, locating … Continue reading

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Rural Growth Network

Government have announced £15 million of new funding to support rural growth. Open to bids from local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local councils the Rural Growth Fund (RGN) is aimed at “identifying mechanisms capable of stimulating faster and more widespread sustainable growth, employment and economic activity in rural areas.” Around six areas will be selected for RGN funding. LEPs and local councils who are interested in bidding should do so by the 31st of January 2012. Application forms and further guidance are available on the DEFRA website. The Kirkwells’ team have years of experience of successful bidding for funding. If you need help putting together a funding bid call us on 01282 872570, or email Mick Wellock. We will be happy to discuss your bid … Continue reading

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