BOOKS featuring songs of South Asian heritage penned by writers in Keighley and Bradford have been published.

A celebratory event was held to launch the volumes, which contain the lyrics and music for more than 100 pieces.

The initiative was the brainchild of Sadar Uddin, community partnership and investment manager with Manningham Housing Association, to promote and preserve the writing of Baul music in the district.

Keighley and Bradford are home to numerous writers of Baul music, which originated in Bangladesh and West Bengal, but until now most of their work has never been published.

The books, whose lyrics are in both English and Bengali, have been produced with financial backing from the Bradford Council Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, and the Leap Pioneer Programme.

Many of the contributing writers attended the launch event, held at Prestige Hall in Bradford.

A selection of the songs was performed by professional musicians, and a cake made to resemble one of the books was cut by Manningham Housing Association vice chair, Rupert Pometsey.

The writers were presented with certificates by the association's deputy chief executive, Ulfat Hussain, who wrote the foreword for both volumes.

He said: "Among our pioneering initiatives, the Baul Heritage Project stands as a testament to our commitment to tenant and resident empowerment.

"As the first project of its kind by a social housing provider, this unique endeavour unites tenants and residents, fostering a collective of talented individuals eager to contribute to the broader community’s enrichment.

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Bradford Council and The Leap for their generous support which enabled us to showcase the remarkable talents of our songwriters, poets and artists.

"We sincerely hope to see the exceptional work form a significant part of Bradford’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2025 where it can rightfully receive the recognition and appreciation it deserves."

Mr Uddin congratulated all the writers and artists who contributed to the venture.

He added: "This is the first-ever project where Baul heritage music has been translated into English and into musical scores so that anyone can play the songs.

"We are keen to promote this music to as wide a community as possible – not just in Keighley and Bradford, but beyond the district."

Sabir Musaji, community development manager at The Leap, said: "I want to thank Sadar and his team. They have a wonderful mindset which makes projects like this happen."