Thousands of pounds of council cash will contribute to a more vibrant Ilkley town centre, say ward councillors.

Ilkley’s three Bradford District councillors – Mike Gibbons, Anne Hawkesworth and Martin Smith – are dividing their £9,000 ward spending money between Ilkley in Bloom and improve-ments to Mill Ghyll this year.

Money will go towards creating a ‘grotto effect’ to enhance Mill Ghyll, the strip of parkland and stream that runs between Wells Walk and Wells Promenade to the head of Brook Street.

Mill Ghyll has been the venue for popular son et lumiere spectacular events held as part of Ilkley Summer Festival.

“We want a grotto effect with subtle floodlighting,” said Coun Hawkesworth. “The festival has, in the past, had a son et lumiere in the Ghyll, which became financially unviable. My hope, as a result of this, is that this year we can bring the event back.”

The remaining £3,000 of ward funding will allow Ilkley in Bloom to commission work to help improve the look of the town, producing the “wow factor”, say councillors.

Coun Smith said: “As a gardener, I know how much effort is put into improving the image of the town by this group. For this reason, I had no hesitation in agreeing to allocate this money.”