£1.9m boost for ‘deprived’ communities?

Town clerk Claire Baxter. Ref: AB196b0516

Town clerk Claire Baxter. Ref: AB196b0516

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Former coalfield communities and ‘deprived’ areas of Castleford could benefit from £1.9m of European funding.

Wakefield Council along with Nova - an organisation which supports voluntary and community groups in the district - has submitted a bid to access the money as part of the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programme.

The programme aims to improve the skills of people living in areas classified as among the 20 per cent most deprived in the country.

People living in Airedale, Hemsworth, South Elmsall, Havercoft and Ryhill would benefit from the fund, which could help more people into work.

Clare Baxter, clerk at South Elmsall Town Council, said: “We have some of the most deprived places in the UK and it would be brilliant if we could use these funds to invest in training to get people into work.

“We are hoping the bid will be successful.”

Airedale councillor Coun Les Shaw added: “It would be excellent for Airedale.

“It should generate new enthusiasm for jobs and for education.”

The CLLD application is in its initial stages.

And the council and Nova are encouraging businesses, organisations and members of the community to get involved in the next stage of the process through regular consultation events and local action groups.

Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for local people to get involved and make a real difference to their local community.

“The funding, which Nova is supporting communities to secure, would be a massive boost for these areas, helping people to get jobs and support businesses to grow.”

A Nova spokeswoman added: “If successful, this money could then be used to help people gain the skills and experience needed to get into work and help businesses grow in the target areas to strengthen the local economy and provide more jobs.”

To find out more about the CLLD bid in Wakefield, visit www.nova-wd.org.uk