HIS Royal Highness the Duke of York will visit Bridlington later this month – the town’s first royal visit for over 13 years.
Prince Andrew will present awards to the winners of the Duke of York’s Community Initiative at a ceremony to be held at Bridlington Spa on Monday, October 22.
This will be the first time the awards ceremony has been staged in the East Riding and it will be a double celebration as one of the winners of the prestigious accolade – West Hill Community Services – is based in the town.
Stephen Beyer, a trustee of the Duke of York’s Community Initiative, has confirmed this week the awards will be held in Bridlington and Prince Andrew is expected to attend.
The Prince is due to arrive into town by car and is expected to make a grand entrance at the front of the Spa, giving the public a chance to catch a glimpse of His Royal Highness before the invitation-only awards event starts.
Around 300 people have been invited to the awards ceremony, with 43 awards up for grabs to groups across Yorkshire.
The event has previously been staged in other Yorkshire towns, including Leeds and Harrogate.
Mr Beyer hopes the visit to Bridlington will encourage more people from the East Riding to get involved in the initiative.
“These awards are held all over Yorkshire so it’s time we came to the East Riding,” Mr Beyer added.
The Duke of York’s Community Initiative is a Royal Award presented to community projects in recognition of the value they bring to the community, how well managed they are and how they have inspired others.
Each nominee has to undergo a rigorous assessment.
Mr Beyer said he was impressed with the work being done at Bridlington’s West Hill Community Services, which runs a community centre on the West Hill estate.
Eight years ago an empty shop was converted into the centre, which now offers a range of services including a youth club, art classes, an over 55s group, and surgeries by local PCSOs and councillors to promote social inclusion on the estate.
Cec Lindley, 64, chairman of the charity and manager of the centre, said news of the award came as a surprise as they did not know they had been nominated.
“They were really pleased with the place because they said that’s what the award is all about, it’s about grass roots community work and we most impressed them by putting on so many things in such a small place,” Cec said.
“It’s a big honour for the centre because it’s taken a long time for the residents to see us as part of the community,” she added.
Prince Andrew is the third child of HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and will be following in the footsteps of his brother Prince Charles who visited the town back in February 1999 to officially open the Macmillan Wolds Unit at Bridlington Hospital.