THE Government is appealing for residents to share their dream vision of Shipley and Keighley in the next stage of the £25million towns fund.

Last Autumn ministers announced plans to transform "forgotten" towns across the UK with "a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture".

Read more: Councillors react to £25 million boost for Shipley and Keighley

When the news was first revealed to the public, councillors and MPs of all political colours felt positive.

It is understood the scheme will give up to £25million for both Shipley and Keighley combined.

Cllr Martin Love (Green, Shipley), feeling optimistic about Shipley's future after being "left behind a bit" compared to other areas of the district.

He said: "I'm pleased that we can get this sort of investment into Shipley but we need to make sure that the entire community is involved in making sure it's properly spent."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Locals are now invited to share their thoughts on how the cash should be used via Government's town fund website.

But what have people suggested so far? 

Roy Williams has called for extra support for people with mental health issues and those who are homeless or hungry in Shipley.

He said: "There’s more to these issues than the obvious.

"Youth workers are needed to help and people with experience of working with those whose lifestyle is dysfunctional."

While another member of the public suggested: "Money needs to be put into the local community centres that have had their funding cut and are only open due to volunteers, the centres are a hub within the community offering a safe place for the elderly and young to go to and if they close due to no funding coming in then there is nowhere for these vulnerable people to go."

But the most called for option appears to be rejuvinating Shipley Market. It was backed by local politicians in a previous T&A article.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photo by Chris Hester, T&A Camera Club MemberPhoto by Chris Hester, T&A Camera Club Member

But interestingly Paula Truman, who submitted the post, feels a lot of responsibility lies within the community.

She said: "People need to start using both markets, indoor and outdoor, otherwise we will lose them! The indoor market has a fantastic haberdashery stall. The outdoor market on a Monday has second hand stuff – I’ve found some real treasures. The fruit and veg stalls on Friday and Saturday, plant stalls and ‘proper’ farm eggs are well worth a visit."Similarly in Keighley, Airedale Market got a mention.

Another person suggested: "All this talk about the Airedale Centre what about the MARKET does everyone forget about it it’s been in Keighley for over 100 yrs how’s about spending some money on this it’s a great market with lots of independent businesses paying so much in rent and business rates stop with the Airedale for a while try helping people working in the market reducing rent etc will entice others to open stalls and advertise the market."

This is a really exciting opportunity for Shipley and I have put my name forward to be on the steering committee for the funding. It would be great to link the different areas of Shipley by tieing up places like Briggate and Bradford Road to the centre and regenerate the markets. I am really keen for people to get in touch and discuss their ideas.

- Councillor Vick Jenkins (Labour, Shipley)

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Someone else added to the argument by saying: "Not a penny should be spent on the Airedale Centre unless its to help businesses move into it. not to upgrade a privatley owned company that make millions a year.

"Invest into our hospital. Invest into the schools. Invest into small businesses."

For others the problem is rubbish blighting the centre's surroundings.

The contributor, named Jenny, said: "First a positive observation – I have found staff in shops and cafes to be particularly friendly and helpful in Shipley. Feels like a step back in time in a good way. I love the sense of community in Shipley.

Keighley is a lovely place with amazing people but because it’s so run down antisocial behaviour increases as nobody has any pride in what’s around them."

- Contributor

"On the downside, when I visit Shipley it is usually on Saturday mornings. Last time I was there I noticed so much rubbish on the ground. Seemed really neglected. Such a shame when so many people are working hard to keep their businesses successful around the main square."

In Keighley, someone else said more respect is needed for the empty shops and buildings.

They said: "Everywhere you look its empty shops or phone shops in the shopping centre . The centre out prices businesses with huge rents . The huge waste land needs addressing is it going to be used or be a big hole for years like Bradford,the run down empty shops on north street which haven’t been open since the late 80s look appalling and vic hotel all boarded up just leaves the town looking dirty unloved and abandoned. Keighley is a lovely place with amazing people but because it’s so run down antisocial behaviour increases as nobody has any pride in what’s around them."

On a similar note, Sinade feels there needs to be an investment in youth schemes to tackle anti-social behaviour.

She said: "Invest in the fields for young people to play safely on the area crossing between northdean and broster avenue perfect example, my children used to be able to play there. Now its a dumping ground and rarely cut lots of other over grown grassland could be well used people complain when there on the streets give them somewhere to go then youth clubs seem to be non existent if they have a base where they can go with different agencies to support them in a drop in maybe there would be less crime we need to go to grass routes and see why young people getting into crime a lot earlier boredom and lack of facilities."

Another contributor, Sandra, said: "Young people NEED somewhere to go during the evenings to stop anti social behavior. Keighley is becoming scary which is really bad for the town and especially its residents."

Have your say on how the money should be spent here