Date: 09/02/2011

DVC is hosting the Dearne Valley Festival in conjunction with; Dearne Valley Eco-Vision Team, DDQ (Delivering Design Quality) initiative, community regeneration expert Keepmoat, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and Barnsley College.

The Festival, to be held on Friday 18 March 2011 from 9.30am – 4.00pm at the Manvers Campus, aims to share and celebrate high profile examples of green communities and model sustainable developments from across Europe. The event will also provide an opportunity for local businesses and learning centres to promote their services in order to give a boost to the local economy.

The festival will inform the local community about green living, attract green business to the area and raise the profile of the Dearne Valley Eco-vision.

It is hoped that the event will enable our local communities to develop an ‘Eco-Charter’ that people in the area can integrate into their everyday lives in order to make the area more carbon efficient and to position the Dearne Valley as one of the greenest areas in Europe.

The programme for the event will provide a variety of activities for participants and visitors including hands on workshops, demonstrations, debates and an exhibition that will cover topics such as; how you can make small steps to reduce energy consumption in your home and how we can use state-of-the-art technology in order to improve energy efficiency in the area.

The event will reach audiences, including local and international practitioners, business representatives, emerging ‘eco’ industries, local community members, students and their families.

As part of the Festival key note speaker Hans-Jörg Schwander, Director of Innovation Academy, Freiburg has been asked to provide his views and experience of living in green communities.

Wath born Neil Baxter, Chair of the Rotherham Work and Skills Board and Managing Director of Bramall Construction, a Keepmoat Company will deliver a talk about living in the Dearne Valley and how we can move forward in ensuring that housing in the Dearne Valley can be at the forefront of sustainability.

Travelling from Catalonia, a team of architects and engineers from an award winning consortium will talk about developing and applying green technologies in the construction of affordable housing. Community representatives from Ireland’s first Eco-village have also been invited to attend the festival.

Joanne Wehrle, Dearne Valley Eco-Vision Project Manager commented:

“As part of the Eco-Vision, the Dearne Valley will be transformed by the know-how of its people and by the imagination and commitment of its community and its enterprise. The Eco-Vision will see the Dearne Valley become a community with the lowest carbon footprint of any comparable place – within ten years and in doing so realise a full transformation from being a carbon production area as part of its coal mining heritage, to one of the most heavily polluted areas in Western Europe, to a leading community in reducing the world’s carbon and ecological footprint”.

The organisers are expecting many visitors and participants throughout the day.Students from Dearne Valley College, Barnsley College and Sheffield Hallam University will play a key role on the preparation and running of this event and will ask their community to join them in a green challenge for the Dearne Valley.

Paul Townsley, DVC Principal and Chief Executive commented:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to engage on the ‘Green Agenda’ with employers and the communities of Dearne Valley and to raise awareness of Eco-developments locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.  This type of International Eco Festival is a first for the area and Dearne Valley College is pleased to host such an event and to help promote the Eco-Vision of the Dearne Valley”.

Organisers are also challenging and calling community groups, schools, businesses and individuals to enter the Eco-challenge competition. Asking to record what they will do in the next 12 months or have done in the past to make their communities more sustainable i.e. reduce their carbon and ecological foot-print. The winner will be announced at the end of the event.

For further information about the EcoVision Festivalor if any local businesses are interested in getting involved with the festival they are asked to contact Ruth Rovira, DDQ Manager on T: 0114 273 5144 email or visit

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