DEWSBURY’S waterways have been given a funding boost.
The Big Lottery Fund has donated £174,000 to a project that will use the Calder and Hebble Navigation and River Calder in Dewsbury to address a range of social issues in the town.
The Dewsbury Water Linked project will be run over three years by Kirklees Council and British Waterways.
British Waterways’ enterprise manager Graham Ramsden said: “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this stage but we’re delighted to have secured the funding.
“Dewsbury’s waterways are a fantastic resource and this project will use them to address some of the key issues we face in the area.”
The scheme will host activities and events to help people find work, combat unhealthy lifestyles and deal with community unrest.
The Dewsbury Water Linked project promises to help members of different of ethnic and social groups to work together on environmental projects, such as building habitats for the town’s wildlife.
It will also provide activities for young people, such as cycling, canoeing and walking, and they will be encouraged to use the waterways as a healthy, eco-friendly route to school
There will also be opportunities for adults to improve their employment prospects through training sessions and develop more skills by volunteering.
An officer will soon be appointed to oversee the project, with a view to starting the activities in September.
Mr Ramsden said: “The canals not only provide a physical link between communities but also give a shared sense of belonging and ownership.
“This project will help to bring people together and improve the quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds.
“The project is a great example of how canals continue to play an important role in our daily lives.”