A charity dedicated to empowering economically and socially disadvantaged individuals in Keighley is poised to upgrade its facilities following a £140,000 injection of funds.

The funding, derived from the government-backed Keighley Towns Fund, will be allocated to enhance the Good Shepherd Centre’s hall, the location of its operations at Presbytery House on West Lane since 2017.

Ian Hayfield, Chair of the Keighley Towns Fund, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “It is a great pleasure to be able to provide funding for work that will make a huge difference to the lives of local people for many years to come.”

The existing hall will undergo modifications, including the creation of two separate spaces and a reduction in ceiling height. Additionally, the windows will undergo a complete refurbishment to enhance insulation and maintain warmth.

Dorota Plata, manager at the Good Shepherd Centre, said: “The funding will make sure a huge difference to the work we do here. The centre supports on average 200 people a week and we can serve up to 100 dinners in the hall. The space is used for everything from mother and baby groups, regular luncheon club and craft group as well as being used by colleges to deliver a variety of courses and youth gatherings, on top of community events and vaccination clinics.

“The centre supports communities in many different ways. The ethos is very welcoming which has been vital in building up trust with a number of different communities. We are well-known amongst statutory bodies for having good relationships with “hard-to-reach” people in this area.

“The refurbishment means we can make better use of the space to support people who really need it. The new room will be functional, inviting, warm and welcoming.”

Bradford Council’s Lead Member for Transport, Regeneration and Planning Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the Good Shepherd Centre with their bid for funding. The work this charity does with so many varied services to support such a diverse range of disadvantaged people is incredible and very much valued in Keighley.”