THE FUTURE of Denholme Mechanics Institute has been secured with a £110,000 lottery grant.

The cash will support running costs for the next five years along with renovations and a paid worker.

Volunteers who last year took over the well-used community building from Bradford Council were this week jubilant to hear the success of their funding bid.

The grant from the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund was welcomed by Peter Foster, secretary of the DMI Community Centre charity which runs the building.

He said: “This is fantastic news for the village and will ensure that the Community Centre can survive and thrive over the next five years.

“The facilities will be available for everyone in the village to use for private and group events, and hopefully new ideas will be found to develop the building into a genuine community centre, used by all.”

The Mechanics Institute was one of several community buildings in the Keighley area threatened with closure, after Bradford Council said it could no longer afford to run them and invited community groups to take over their management.

Villagers banded together to start the DMI Community Centre charity, taking over responsibility for the building through an Asset Transfer.

Mr Foster said: “Since then we have been running the centre with a small team of trustees and volunteers.

“We received confirmation about the Big Lottery grant before Christmas - it was a great Christmas present for both the charity and the whole village.”

The group’s first spend from the grant will be for the replacement of more than 20 windows in the building with new double-glazed units to help improve heating efficiency.

Mr Foster added: "We will also be able to employ a Community Coordinator for the next five years who will be responsible for promoting and developing use of the Community Centre.

“They will work with other groups, new residents and individuals in the village to expand and build on the work that has already been done through the Joseph Rowntree Foundation loneliness project.

“Finally the grant will support the centre by contributing to our running and utility costs during the five years.”

The Mechanics Institute is regularly used by several community groups, as well as providing space for special events throughout the year.

It is also home to Denholme Community Library, which is this month due to be transferred from Bradford Council to Denholme Town Council.