Opinion: Looking to secure funding with other east coast towns

Councillor Jane Evison.
Councillor Jane Evison.

With one eye on the opportunity to bring a significant chunk of European Funding into Bridlington, arrangements have already been made for the local community to contribute ideas for “Community Led Local Development (CLLD)”.

There is a fair way to go with the application process for European Funding being led by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, working with Scarborough Borough Council, and aiming to access community development funding which would be available in Bridlington, Withernsea, Scarborough Whitby and Filey.

Ideas from community could help secure European funding for town.

Ideas from community could help secure European funding for town.

The most important thing about this opportunity is that it must be led by the community with the council’s role very much aiming to build local networks and reach parts of the community that might not normally be reached.

To set this in motion, a workshop was held at the Key Centre in Bridlington inSeptember. It pulled together a range of local community representatives to collect ideas, challenges and issues which will be used to develop the application for these funds to be targeted along the coast.

Under CLLD, local people take the reins and form a Local Action Group, or LAG for short, that designs and oversees the implementation of a Local Development Strategy (LDS).

The strategy needs to build on the social, environmental and economic strengths or “assets” of the community.

The four themes that people were asked to think about at the Bridlington workshop were:

• Community transport and access employment opportunities.

• Addressing coastal deprivation and isolation.

• Business networks, business and enterprise support.

• Improving skills for local people.

Feedback focused mainly on improved access to information, advice and services. Suggestions such as a business hub, community hub, mentoring for local organisations, better linking of transport to services and employment, and a single point of contact for community support were all put forward as areas for improvement that would help to strengthen our community.

Representatives from Bridlington Town Council, Christ Church Community Services, Job Centre Plus, Bridlington Tourism Association, East Riding College, Bridlington Town Improvement Forum, The Hang Out, Bridlington Central Action Group and the Holderness Coast Fishing Group were all present.

Full feedback from the workshops can be found at www.hlc-vol.org/partner/humber-technical-assistance.

Let’s not miss this great opportunity – after all – as the name of this column says, “Community Matters”.

• A further workshop will be held in January 2016.