£1 million grant for district’s ‘forgotten’ areas

The Keighley community has been awarded £1 million of lottery funding in a scheme to help transform “forgotten” pockets of the district over the next decade, it has been announced today.

The Keighley Valley project is one of six areas in Yorkshire and Humber to receive cash through the Big Lottery Fund’s Big Local programme, which offers money to areas which have been overlooked for funding and investment in the past and are facing problems, from the decline of industry to high levels of unemployment and crime.

The initiative will see residents come together to spend their £1m, which can be used on anything from training and employment schemes, to tackling anti-social behaviour, creating new community facilities or providing more activities for young people.

As well as receiving funding for improvements, each area will be given training and support from Local Trust – an organisation set up to deliver Big Local – to help residents spend the funding and increase their confidence, skills and know-how so they are better able to come together make positive changes in their areas in future.

Caroline Shwaller, chief executive of Keighley & Ilkley Voluntary and Community Action, which headed the bid for funding, said: “It’s fantastic news for the Keighley area, bringing money in at a time of particular challenges and needs.

“It’s also a great early Christmas present – we’re all delighted. This funding is the result of partnership work with various agencies and it’s a great boost for morale.

“As yet we can’t say how the money will be spent, but we will are looking forward to sitting down with a panel of local people to look at ways of making best use of it.”

Debbie Ladds, chief executive at Local Trust said: “We are delighted to have a further 50 communities to support. We look forward to helping residents identify what matters most to them and how, with the support of a range of locally trusted organisations and our partners, we can support them over at least ten years make their areas even better places to live.

“The passion and commitment that residents in existing Big Local areas are showing is inspirational. By enabling residents to make decisions and take control of the funding we believe Big Local can achieve lasting change in their communities.”

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