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Opportunity to ‘improve lives’ in Keighley
Keighley residents will be asked how they want to see £1 million spent in several areas of the town – and have been warned not to waste the opportunity.
The town received an early Christmas present in December in the form of a lottery grant to improve its ‘forgotten’ pockets.
Keighley Valley Project was one of six across Yorkshire and Humber to receive money through the Big Lottery Fund’s Big Local programme, which offers a financial lifeline to areas overlooked for investment in the past, and that face economic and social problems.
The community will be asked to attend public meetings in the coming weeks and say what it wants the money spending on.
And the local funding co-ordinator hopes it is not just the “usual faces” who show up to have their say.
Big Local co-ordinator, Sam Keighley, said: “I would encourage any residents to come along.
“It is a ten-year programme so we aren’t in a rush to spend the money, but we need to look at what has to be done. We are trying to build a knowledge of the area.
“It is an opportunity for people to help themselves. There is no limit to what the money can be spent on – the important thing is it goes towards something that improves people’s lives.”
Focused on a ‘corridor’ of the town running from Ingrow to Stockbridge, incorporating Hainworth Wood, Parkwood and Worth Village, the money is intended for new projects rather than quick fixes, such as filling potholes.
Mrs Keighley added: “The £1 million could be spent on an activity or a scheme to train people in the community, helping them into jobs or to set up their own business.
“One of the most important things is we engage with young people. They may be parents within the ten years, so the money will even benefit their children. It is a diverse community so the money could be spent on understanding how other people live.
“In this case it is an open book. People can do whatever they want with the cash, as long as it improves lives in the long term.”
The first public session is at Parkwood Primary School from 6pm to 7.30pm on Monday, followed by another on March 9, from 10am to 11.30am.