HUNDREDS of young people from different cultures will be brought together after a community cohesion project received £250,000 in Lottery funding.

Building Bridges Pendle has received the cash from the Big Lottery Fund to work on a project with 33 schools and colleges.

The charity will be running a series of workshops over three years covering different cultures, social values, integration, personal development, communication and social skills.

The project will work with 800 young people from Pendle’s Asian and white comm- unities, aged seven to 18, who may not have had the opportunity to interact, which they believe could lead to a lack of understanding about each other, resulting in bullying, racism and hate crime.

Rauf Bashir, project manager at Building Bridges Pendle, based in Market Square, Nelson, said: “Pendle is like many other areas where people from different cultures may live alongside each other, but are separate and don’t naturally come into contact with each other.

“Our aim is for people not to just live side by side – but together.

“We want to improve the young people’s knowledge base, their skills, and their experiences.

“When young people hear negatives views being expressed, they will be able to draw back on the positive experiences they got from the project – that people can share the same values, lifestyles, leisure pursuits and sports.

“We hope that a good number of young people will become ambassadors for tolerance and understanding, demonstrating how people can get along with each other and counter stereo-typing, fear and racism.

“This grant from the Big Lottery Fund comes at a critical time.”

The workshops will include social activities and group discussions, debates and role play.