Three new fire safety advisers are being recruited by West Yorkshire Fire Service to lead the fight against arson in Bradford.

The service has received funding from the Regen 2000 partnership to help pay for the posts to cover the Leeds Road, Barkerend and Bradford Moor areas.

The aim of the project, worth £1.4million over three years, is to make the people in the 22,000-strong multi-cultural community safer through education.

Last year there were 299 major fires in the area, of which 267 were started deliberately - among the highest figures across the district.

Divisional Officer Peter McCreesh, of community fire safety, will oversee the scheme and said the recruits would work with schools, businesses and other groups. "There is a high ethnic population in the community and we have a language barrier and potentially a culture barrier to overcome," he said.

"It is an area where we have a high number of fire calls to property, car and rubbish fires and we also have a problem with youths in that area who have thrown stones at firefighters on occasions."

The officers will be based at Nelson Street in Bradford and move to the new fire station on Maud Street, off Leeds Road, when it is completed, to continue forging links between the people and the fire crews.

The posts are initially for 12 months but funding will be renewed annually for the three-year scheme, which aims to cut arson attacks by 50 per cent.

Regeneration 2000 has put £411,000 in through Single Regeneration Budget and West Yorkshire Fire Service is match-funding this, with £1million from the Government and other sources.

"We are looking for people who have the skills and the know-how to access that area," said Mr McCreesh. "We will provide the training and the only specific qualification is that you need to be able to drive."

Jane Trenholme, Regen 2000 marketing manager, said the scheme would help to make the area a safer and more acceptable environment to live in.

Applications from people who live in the Regen 2000 area, which has a high level of unemployment, are particularly welcome.

The trainees, who would earn £13,581 a year, would carry out home safety checks, install smoke alarms and attend community meetings.