COMMUNITY cash from a planned Cullingworth housing scheme will be spent on a new village hall.

Bradford councillors last week voted to give £410,000 of ‘section 106’ money to villagers who want to replace the existing rundown hall.

The money will allow the campaigners to build the hall – and adjoining pre-school facility – next to Cullingworth medical centre.

They will continue to fund raise and apply for grants to kit out the new building.

The decision was made by the council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee last week when it granted planning permission for housing on the Manywells site.

Barratt David Wilson Homes had applied to build 233 homes and 2,160 sq metres of commercial floor space on former industrial land at Manywells Brow.

Section 106 funding is money that large-scale developers must pay for community facilities, education or infrastructure, to offset the impact of their housing projects.

The council committee decided that section 106 payments from the Manywells project should go directly to the village hall project.

The decision was described as “brilliant for the village” by Simon Cooke, who represents Bingley Rural ward on Bradford Council.

He had last week told the committee that it was an opportunity to fund a new village hall and pre-school at no cost to the council.

He said the existing hall in Station Road, built as a temporary structure 40 years ago, would be woefully inadequate for the needs of a larger village.

Coun Cooke this week told the Keighley News: “The villagers will have half a million quid to build a hall. But they have way to go because it always costs more than you think.”

The council’s decision was welcomed by Jill Logan, chairman of the village hall sub-committee tasked with achieving a new building.

She said the existing Cullingworth Village Hall had only one large room with limited facilities, and has to turn away potential regular and one-off users.

She said the Cullingworth Pre-School cared for 60 local children, and had a received Outstanding read from Ofsted inspectors.

Mrs Logan added: “The section 106 money is wonderful news. It will help us get the new structure built.

“We will still have to raise a lot of money for the fit-out of the building, but we have made a huge leap forward in achieving our plans for a fantastic community facility in the village.”

Coun Doreen Lee, a member of the Regulatory and Appears Committee, said it was fantastic to see a community coming up with a concrete suggestion of how to spend section 106 money.

She added: “I think it is wonderful idea. Don’t argue, give them the money. It’s about time we did more of this sort of thing.”