WINNER takes all in a new venture aimed at attracting money for Keighley community groups and other good causes.

Community Soup will see groups competing to win a pot of cash during a networking event at the town’s Central Hall.

Groups, charities and social enterprises will each make a presentation about their existing work or a new project idea that needs financial support.

The money pot will be made up of £5 admission fees paid by everyone attending, and each person present – including representatives of the bidding groups – will get a vote on who should win.

Also attending Community Soup will be businesses looking for local charities to support, and other community groups who want to share ideas and learn about what is going on in their town.

The hope is some businesses will also be impressed with the ‘losing’ projects and offer extra cash or practical support, or that individuals attending the event will volunteer their time to some projects.

Community Soup is being brought to Keighley by Julie Lintern, manager of Central Hall and an experienced community development worker.

She said the idea was established in the Detroit, USA, but is rapidly spreading across the world, with Community Soups recently set up in cities like Sheffield and Leeds.

The Keighley event will be held in March, with each participant paying £5 and receiving one vote and a bowl of soup.

Julie said: “Community Soup will be a networking event with a difference, open to local groups, business start-ups and business people.

“It’s very community-based. People eat together and get to know each other.

“People decide themselves where the money should go because it’s their own money. Businesses can feel they are making a difference in their immediate area.

“It’s like charity giving, but it’s more about coming together to share ideas and raising enthusiasm for them. Other people might want to get involved with you. The benefit isn’t just for those groups pitching, it’s about other groups networking and hearing what’s going on.”

Central Hall is run by Keighley and Ilkley Voluntary and Community Action (KIVCA), which supports voluntary and community groups and encourages networking between groups.

The original Detroit Soup has raised $85,000 for projects in the city through 95 dinners during the past five years.

Anyone interested in taking part in Community Soup should contact Julie by e-mailing julie or calling 01535 665258 after Monday.