THE SEARCH is on for Keighley people with bright ideas to make the town a better place to live and work.

Support is being offered to ‘social entrepreneurs’ so that they can turn their.dreams into reality as part of a regeneration programme.

The Participate Projects organisation will work with the ideas merchants at their Social Venture School at Keighley Civic Centre on December 9 and 10.

Spokesman Rachel Rickards said: “Over two days participants will be able to develop their ideas with expert help, and access ongoing support to turn them into social enterprises, charities and community projects.

“This is the chance for the next fantastic social entrepreneur in Keighley to come forward.

“The people we have worked with in Keighley have gone on to set up some amazing projects including POPI, a charity that supports struggling families with pre-loved children’s clothes and equipment, and Innovate Communities, a social business that supports people to develop skills and access employment.”

Social Venture School has been supporting people across Yorkshire to set up innovative organisations for more than seven years. Participants explore their options together, creating simple business plans and receiving ongoing support to fund and deliver their projects.

Participant Projects are working in Keighley as part of Community Led Local Development (CLLD), a European funded programme to help people into employment and enterprise.

CLLD is a £2.4 million programme that aims to deliver targeted support to the most disadvantaged areas of Keighley, to develop skills, help people find jobs and encourage enterprise.

To achieve the total value of the programme – an estimated £4.8 million – the European funding will be matched by businesses and public bodies that deliver the projects.

Participants will have access to free workspace at Woodville Activity Centre alongside some existing social projects.

One venture that received support was the recently-formed charity Lion’s Den at Cliffe Castle, part of the national ‘men’s shed’’ movement that provides a self-help social groups for men.

Lion’s Den leading light Allan Clarkesaid: “I’d recommend it highly, it was very useful and it started the ball rolling. The networking was fantastic.”

Email or call Rachel on 01274 288010 for further information. Visit to book a place on the Social Venture School.