Community office given five-year cash boost

The future of a community office which serves the mid-Wharfedale area has been secured for the next five years.

A grant to Grassington Hub of almost £200,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s reaching communities means the centre’s short-term future looks bright.

The Hub combines a library with a central point to provide information about the area’s facilities and a springboard for village initiatives.

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It also advertises events, sells tickets for them and will maintain a new village website and magazine.

New outreach facilities including Yorkshire Credit Union bank and Yorkshire Housing are set to start.

The Grassington Festival has now established a permanent home there.

Andrew Colley, chairman of the management group, said: “From the start, it has been an example of community collaboration.

“So many people have seen the need for the Hub, and have come forward with a formidable array of skills, and worked very hard to make this happen.

“This funding means we can now develop a lot of exciting ideas that we have received from local people.

“Already people are coming from far and wide to see what we’ve done and how we did it. The Hub is all set to become a beacon to other communities.”

The Hub was the vision of a group of locals representing different parts of the community who wanted people to work together so Grassington could flourish in the future.

Despite setbacks and risks the group was able to open the Hub in September last year, but with few resources and limited funds.

The award from the Big Lottery Fund means the running costs of the centre are guaranteed for a few years while the Hub becomes self-sustaining, and, more importantly, the Hub can employ a full-time manager to develop and run the entire project.