A SOUTH Pennines Park – which would encompass Keighley, the Worth Valley and South Craven – is “firmly on the Government’s radar”, according to the regeneration agency behind the plans.

Pennine Prospects says the park would help raise the area’s profile, improve protection of its landscapes and unlock potential funding for major projects.

The South Pennines – which cover a 460-square-mile area – are the only upland region in England not designated as a national park or area of outstanding natural beauty.

Helen Noble, for Pennine Prospects, said: “The Glover review report – on the future of the nation’s designated landscapes – cited the South Pennines as a prime candidate for a different approach, recognising it’s the only upland region in England without a legal designation.

“When we met the review team we made clear we are seeking to develop a very different, partnership-led, more collaborative kind of park. It will be the first of its kind in the UK, truly accessible and allowing people to reconnect with nature and giving residents a greater say in the future. We have opened a dialogue with Government to pave the way for that vision.”