RIBBLE Valley villages, such as Downham, Grindleton, and Whalley, are to get the chance to bid for a share of £100,000 of council taxpayers’ cash to improve local services.

They will be able to submit applications for small projects to improve local people’s lives under a new scheme approved this week.

The Village Amenities Grant Fund was approved by Ribble Valley councillors this week and will allow parish councils and community groups to make competitive bids for the money for one-off projects and pump priming.

The scheme, based on a similar one in 2007, is aimed to ‘protect and enhance the existing environmental quality of our area’.

The borough’s policy and finance committee anticipated ‘a strong demand’ for the grants when it approved the scheme.