Bradford district awarded almost £11 million in funding to stimulate economic growth and jobs

Article dated Friday Dec 8, 2017 at 04:16 PM

The Bradford district is celebrating investment of almost £11 million in funding to stimulate the local economy to deliver jobs and growth.

Two of the most deprived areas of the district have been awarded over £5.4 million in matched EU funding via the Leeds City Region European Structural Investment Fund to support activity that addresses local needs and opportunities over the next five years.

The funding will lead to Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programmes being set up in Bradford to cover the City, Great Horton and Manningham wards and in Keighley to cover Keighley East, Keighley West and Keighley Central wards.

Community led local development is about local people getting involved to take the lead on activity that provides sustainable economic benefits.

A Local Development Strategy has been developed for each area, in partnership with local delivery partners, business and the local community.

A key feature of the programme is the need for it to be community led, and Local Action Groups have been formed in both areas. The Local Action Groups are responsible for the leadership, implementation, monitoring and review of these strategies and will make all major decisions affecting successful delivery, including decisions on the allocation of funding to projects.

Bradford Council will be working with local delivery partners Action for Business Ltd, CNet and Airedale Enterprise Services to deliver programmes providing wide-ranging social and economic benefits to the areas.

The Bradford Central CLLD area has been granted £1.5 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and £1.5 million European Social Fund (ESF), from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which matched with local funding has the potential to deliver a £6 million programme.

The Keighley CLLD area has been granted £1.4 million ERDF from the DCLG and £1 million ESF from DWP, this will have the potential to deliver a £4.8 million programme.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: "Bradford is known as an entrepreneurial district. This funding is about bringing together local communities giving opportunities to develop projects that tap into the potential of people in these two areas. These Community Led Local Development projects will provide support, education and skills to unemployed people, raising their aspirations and helping to lift barriers to entry to and progression within jobs. They will also aim to support new business start-ups and existing small businesses to help them to grow and expand."

Wendy Spencer, Vice Chair of Keighley CLLD, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Keighley has been awarded this funding. Our aim is to make the area a better place to live, work, start new business and help existing businesses to grow. Skills development and job creation is a priority. The Local Action Group together with the support team at Airedale Enterprise Services will be working hard over the next few weeks to get the plan into shape so that commissioning of projects can begin in the new year."

Hamayun Arshad, Chair of the Bradford Local Action Group, said: "Local residents, business people and voluntary sector workers on the Local Action Group have been working hard with Carlisle Business Centre, Bradford Council and other local partners for over 2 years to bring this resource to the area. Communities living in Manningham, Great Horton and City wards are some of the most enterprising in the country.

"It is fantastic to secure support that will help people to realise their dreams, be that starting up or growing an existing business or gaining new skills to find employment. There’s lots of work to be done over the next few months to get things up and running and we hope local people, businesses and other organisations will join with us to do this."

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