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Blackburn area to get £1m to spend on whatever residents choose
A NEW £1million project in Shadsworth and Whitebirk could bring a summer community festival, dance and drama workshops and an adopt a grandparent scheme thanks to the national lottery.
These are just some of the projects being looked at for the neighbourhood by a new community board set up to administer the grant which is aimed at making a positive difference to the community over the next ten years.
The cash is one of 150 awards made by the lottery’s ‘Big Local’ fund across the UK and an 11-strong board has been chosen to look at how best to spend the £1million to boost community spirit, cohesion and fun in the area.
Launch events have seen Blackburn Rovers footballers Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Adam Henley, Junior Hoilett and Nick Blackman help kickstart the project.
Board members are now studying what has been done elsewhere and what people want, before their first meeting on July 19.
In Ipswich, Suffolk, a summer community festival has been set up, dance workshops have been started and an ‘Adopt a Grandma or Grandpa’ scheme has proved a big success.
In Oldham children are making TV-style programmes about what the area could be like in 20 years, Newham in London has run tea parties to get old and young talking together over a brew, while other areas are producing video records of older residents’ memories.
One option being looked at by some schemes is cheap loans for low paid families to buy vital items.
Others are looking at extra sports and leisure facilities for young and old alike, while community gardens and allotments have proved a popular choice.