Community hub to promote Dewsbury’s hidden talents

HIVE OF ACTIVITY: Nooriya Khan, left, who is starting a new community hub, pictured with Cassandra Burton and Graham Lamming of Fresh Start Management. (d408a239)

HIVE OF ACTIVITY: Nooriya Khan, left, who is starting a new community hub, pictured with Cassandra Burton and Graham Lamming of Fresh Start Management. (d408a239)

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A NEW community hub is about to be launched – aimed at revitalising Dewsbury and promoting the town’s ‘hidden talents’.

It will be based in the former Hudson’s furniture shop.

Behind the scheme is 31-year-old Nooriya Khan who has drawn on her own negative life experiences to try to help others.

The hub will officially launch on October 20. But already there has been an art exhibition and the Town Team has an information desk on the premises.

Now Miss Khan wants local businesses to help with funding. She aims to encourage business start-ups by renting out space on easy terms so ideas can be tried out without huge costs being incurred. “If it doesn’t work, they can try something else,” said Miss Khan, who lives in Eightlands. “If it’s a success, they can move elsewhere to one of the many buildings standing empty.”

A run of bad luck led to Miss Khan’s venture. “I went from living quite well to being on benefits,” she said. “I lost my last job through health issues. Then I was hit by housing problems and went into financial breakdown.

“I was walking past the empty shop and thought I could turn it into useful space.”

The owner has given Miss Khan the space rent-free for a limited period so she is now seeking funding to keep the project alive.

Along with the Town Team, already on board is Ravensthorpe-based Fresh Start Management, whose project manager Graham Lamming said: “There will be a range of services aimed at businesses, community groups and charities.”

Mr Lamming staged the first Hidden Talents Project last Saturday, designed to showcase local creativity and hopes to stage similar events every weekend up to the launch.

Anyone who wants to get involved should call Miss Khan on 07719655080 or call at the hub in the arcade opposite Dewsbury market.