FUNDING support is being provided for arts festivals across the area.

The Leap – which champions community-led arts, culture and heritage in Bradford district – is spearheading an awards programme.

It's offering grants of between £500 and £10,000 in support of "new and emerging" festivals.

The awards are open to anyone over the age of 18 seeking to create or develop an event.

In addition to receiving funding, successful applicants – chosen by an independent panel – will be given a package of non-financial support.

Stuart Blackburn, community development manager at The Leap, is heading up the awards programme.

He says: "The core festival topic could be anything – for example music, food, rap, dance, theatre, film or spoken word.

"It doesn't even have to be a full-on festival in the traditional sense. It could be a fete with a twist, a unique street party for a neighbour reaching a birthday/anniversary milestone, or a weekend of events and workshops highlighting or championing issues important to your community.

"We are seeking ideas for community-led festivals relevant to people and places across the whole of Bradford and Keighley, but especially where engagement with arts and culture is proven to be low.

"This is a great opportunity for communities to celebrate – either themselves, their friends, their food, culture or music, whatever they want!

"We know there are already festivals across Bradford, but hopefully with these awards we can go 'hyper local'. The big festivals are great, but we're also looking at those smaller, very local events that otherwise wouldn't happen.

"It could be a tiny street party celebrating the charity work of one of the people who lives there, which may become an annual event where you celebrate someone on your street for all the good that they've done.

"It could be a festival in your backyard, or at a music venue or community centre.

"The brilliant thing about Bradford district is that we can all come together. Whether it's about your food, music, culture or literature, we're here to talk to you.

"This is a great time for Bradford district and a great opportunity, so do please get in touch.

"We have a lot celebrate, so let's do just that!"

Applications should be submitted via by noon on Monday, November 20.

For further information or to discuss an idea before applying, contact Mr Blackburn via or on 07876 800254.