KEIGHLEY MP John Grogan has lent his support to townspeople running the Big Local regeneration programme. He met with volunteer residents who lead the Big Local Partnership’s efforts to improve the ‘Keighley Valley’ zone. Mr Grogan extended his regular surgery to meet Partnership members Claire Lockyer, Fiona Thompson, Claire Young, Kelly Turner and Rana Bagum. He heard about a host of community projects being carried out neighbourhoods alongside the River Worth such as Stockbridge, Worth Village, Hainworth Wood, Parkwood, and Red Holt at Ingrow.
Mr Grogan’s involvement was welcomed by Shaun O’Hare, from Airedale Enterprise which provides professional support to keep the Big Local volunteers.
Mr O’Hare said: “Our MP is very supportive of the Keighley Big Local Partnership, recognising the challenges of creating a legacy in the area and trying to do this the Big Local way, resident-led and genuine.
“Sometimes moving forward can be slower than we hope for, but John recognises the progress and exciting plans the Partnership are developing.
“Keighley Big Local has an excellent national profile with many of our activities promoted to the other 150 Big Local areas as examples of best practice.
“They are particularly interested in how we engage with residents and ensure projects are genuine responses to real situations.”
Fiona Thompson, a leading member of the Partnership, said the volunteers had a great evening with the MP.
She added: “The Partnership feel John Grogan is fully behind what we do and he has made a commitment to learn more about our projects, and encourage some of Bradford Council’s Head of Services to get involved too.”
Big Local is a 10-year regeneration programme for the ‘Keighley Valley’ corridor involving at least £1 million investment from the Big Lottery Fund.
The zone runs alongside the River Worth and takes in Stockbridge, Worth Village, Thwaites, Parkwood, Woodhouse, Spring Bank, Wesley Place, and the ‘Red Holt’ estate on the former Grove Mill site at Ingrow.
The Big Local Partnership Board is run by 15 residents from the various neighbourhoods, with support from Mr O’Hare and several local organisations.
Keighley Big Local has several priorities, including developing play opportunities for children and young people.
Earlier this year Big Local supported Bradford Council’s ‘detached’ youth workers as they develop new youth activities in Hainworth Wood, Stockbridge and Parkwood.
At the beginning of the year Hainworth Wood residents celebrated the completion of a new £80,000 playground, following a campaign that received strong support.