Chance of European cash for Keighley projects

Keighley News: Coun Khadim Hussain Coun Khadim Hussain

A new community-based funding programme could attract more than £1 million of European cash to Keighley.

Voluntary and community groups are urged to get involved in the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) initiative.

Keighley councillors say the involvement of residents will be vital to the success of a local bid for funding.

Coun Khadim Hussain, who represents Keighley Central ward on Bradford Council, said: “It could be a real opportunity because we have issues and we need funding.”

The CLLD initiative, which is in its early stages, will bring together several European Union funding streams, together worth more than £5.2 billion.

Each grant will total at least £1 million, and will pay for several small community projects that together will tackle one specific need in an area.

The Leeds City Region (LCR) – which includes Bradford district – is spearheading attempts to attract grants for several areas, including an amalgamation of Keighley’s Central, East and West wards.

LCR wants to set up a Local Action Group in Keighley, involving both community groups and public bodies, to devise a funding bid.

The group will focus on a particular theme, such as job creation, energy plans, urban mobility or the needs of young people.

Coun Hussain, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, is optimistic Keighley could access some of the European cash.

He added: “It could be very timely because we are unfortunately going through massive cuts in public funding. We could use it as seed funding to attract more funding from other sources.

“I would encourage Keighley groups to get involved in the process. They should get young people on board. “We should tap into this huge pool of talent. Businesses and institutions are looking for young people who have been active in their community.”

Fellow Keighley Central councillor Abid Hussain said: “I fully support this. Anything that brings European funding to the people of Keighley is welcome.”

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