Community groups and businesses asked to unite to make villages better

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Businesses and community groups will be asked to come up with ideas to improve their areas and boost the local economy.

People living and working in Birstall, Birkenshaw and East Bierley will be encouraged to support their villages, as part of a new initiative outlined at a meeting of the Batley and Spen District Committee earlier this month.

A total of £9,191 has been pledged towards the scheme, which will see ward councillors work with businesses and members of the community to help the area “flourish”.

Coun Andrew Palfreeman, for Birstall and Birkenshaw, said: “We hope to kickstart and support community groups and projects in the area with the aim of enhancing the villages and boosting the local economy, at a time when communities are going to have to fend for themselves rather than relying on the council.

“We wanted to make sure that the money was available to support these areas and we hope more people will get involved in their local communities.”

People will be encouraged to put forward “creative and innovative” ideas for projects and events to “improve the economic vibrancy” of the areas.

And they will be able to apply for funding to deliver them.

A report to the meeting said: “The project supports the District Committee and [Kirklees] Council’s priority of local people increasingly doing more for themselves and each other.”

The initiative aims to get people working together to improve the attractiveness of the areas, ensuring they are desirable places to live and work and supporting businesses and regeneration.

The report said other objectives include developing local leadership and civic pride and creating skilled and healthy communities.