ORGANISERS of a project to clean up the River Aire are looking for £60,000 of funding to continue for at least another year following a successful pilot.

The River C’Aire Project, run by The Aire Rivers Trust and River Stewardship Company, held six pilot clean-ups on the River Aire, Chellow Dean and Bradford Beck during March and earlier this month which attracted both adult and children volunteers.

Sites by the River Aire to benefit included areas by Higher Coach Road in Baildon.

Organisers will also hold four further clean-ups in Bingley and Keighley on unconfirmed dates late this month and in May.

Now organisers hope to secure funding to hold similar clean-ups further down the River Aire, between Saltaire and Apperley Bridge, over the next 12 months.

Representatives of the Aire Rivers Trust have sent off applications for grants to Bradford Council and the National Lottery’s Awards for All scheme.

They hope to spend the money on future clean-ups, equipment including litter pickers and to employ a stewardship co-ordinator to work with groups to carry out the

Geoff Roberts, Aire Rivers Trust chairman, said: “We need at least between £50,000 and £60,000 to continue for a year.

“We want to make it a permanent scheme if we can. We would like to cover the whole of the River Aire and some of the River Worth.

“The interest has been encouraging for a beginning. I have been quite pleased with the numbers of people taking part. The biggest interest we had in the clean-ups was at Roberts Park.”

Hellen Hornby, community team manager at the River Stewardship Company, said: “It still needs quite a lot of tidying up.

“We are hoping to train people up so they can continue to do the work.

“We are not sure how big the pot of money will be yet. We are hoping there will be a small round of funding to keep it going.”

Groups taking part so far include students at Dixon’s Allerton Academy; the Friends of Bradford Becks; Bradford Amateur Rowing Club; Higher Coach Road Residents’ Group, and Bradford and Bingley Canoe Club, have all taken part in the clean-ups.

Bradford Council has also helped with the project.

To take part in future clean-ups, call the River Stewardship Company on 0114 354 0012.