OUTLYING areas of Keighley are benefiting from a £756,000 investment in rural businesses and community assets.

The South Pennine Leader programme has brought cash to ventures in Riddlesden, Oakworth, Silsden, Cross Roads, Wilsden, Haworth and Addingham.

The eight businesses and community groups are sharing £330,000 of grants from the European Union, boosted by investment from other sources. Between them the projects have created 12 jobs as a result of the funding.

The grants are part of a £1.5 million European fund that is due to be wound-up next year.

Fanny’s Farmhouse Cheese in Riddlesden is spending its £58,211 grant on a new dairy that makes goats’ cheese.

Ashlar Stone, of Oakworth, is buying a new shed and stone-cutting machine with its £48,387 grant, while Linesman GPS of Haworth is buying a GPS line-marking machine and a drone with its £6, with down 19 lines will to top of document 929 grant.

Keighley Tree Services, of Cross Roads, gained two grants totalling around £113,000, to create a hardstanding, buy forest equipment, and create a pick-your-own-logs facility with weighbridge, storage and handling equipment.

The Leader project gave Wilsden Village Hall almost £42,551 for heating and insulation; £25,178 to Addingham Hub for building improvements to create a new community facility; and £36,330 the Old Post Office Café Bar in Silsden for building work, flooring and equipment.

Pennine Prospects, which administers the Leader programme from Bradford Council, also recently secured £183,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money, part of the Resilient Heritage Programme, will help create ‘organisational change’ across the South Pennines help voluntary groups and social enterprises improve the way they operate.