Rastrick gets a £1 million lottery boost

THE Rastrick area of Brighouse is to get a £1 million shot in the arm from the Big Lottery Fund.

Residents and local organisations are being asked to come up with ideas to spend the money on schemes which will make the area a better place to live.

The money will be administered by a trust which will be sending representatives to Rastrick in the next few weeks to drum up ideas and encourage people to formulate a plan for spending the cash over the next 10 years.

The lottery grant might be used to attract extra money from other sources.

“Local people are often best placed to identify what’s needed in their community and through this scheme we are putting them at the heart of decision making,” said Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund’s England chairman.

“While this money is going to help these communities make some very important changes, crucially, it’s going to build people’s trust, knowledge and skills. It will ensure that they are well equipped to respond to the different challenges that they face and improve their area for generations to come.”

Rastrick is one of 50 districts chosen by the lottery fund organisers because it has been largely overlooked in the past and is known to be in need of help and support.

The money can be spent on anything from one off community projects to enterprise and job training schemes.

“It’s absolutely brilliant,” said the chairman of the Rastrick Hub, Adrian Hartshorn. “But I have to say, I don’t know off the top of my head how we might spend it.”

Mr Hartshorn said he was sure plenty of ideas would come forward in due course and it would be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Crowtrees and Carr Green Community Action Group.

The Rastrick ward forum meets on Monday.

Calderdale Council’s community services spokeswoman Coun Pauline Nash, said Rastrick was a place which has not had any neighbourhood funding.

“I am delighted that local people will have the chance to decide how this money is used to benefit their community, putting them at the heart of decision making and giving them a real say in how to improve their local area.”

Councillor Christine Beal (Con, Rastrick) said: “Usually we come up with ideas then get the funding but in this case it is the other way round which is amazing.

“Maybe youngsters and elderly people could do with more facilities, but the community needs to get together to decide.”