GUISELEY and Rawdon Councillors have granted almost £10,000 to subsidise reading, music, singing, dance and drama classes for the new school term in September.

Classes will be running at Guiseley Theatre and Guiseley Baptist Church to give children a creative outlet to hone their skills and learn new ones while building up their own selfconfidence and making new friends at the same time.

Classes include Oddballs Theatre Juniors, Hullabaloo Children’s Orchestra, Doodles art club and the Book Explorers junior book club. Children of all abilities from complete beginner are encouraged to come along and build their skills and confidence in a safe environment.

Councillor Paul Alderson (Conservative, Guiseley and Rawdon Ward) said:"Covid has been particularly difficult for children with time lost from school and being separated from friends. As well as being simply good fun, these classes can help build skills and confidence in a safe environment. I am delighted to be able to fund projects that get our community together in things they might not otherwise be able to do.”

Councillor Graham Latty (Conservative, Guiseley and Rawdon Ward) said: “This is a significant investment in a community project and it is great to see our wonderful Guiseley Theatre being used to develop the skills of future entertainers. We may even see the next Peter O’Toole [Lawrence of Arabia], Gemma Whelan [Game of Thrones] or Matthew Lewis [Harry Potter] from this crop of talented youngsters.”

Councillor Paul Wadsworth (Chair, Outer North West Community Committee) said: “Being able to subsidise these classes at an affordable rate means that they can be available to all households. Reading, acting and music skills can open up a lifetime of opportunities that young people can build upon from an early age. Classes such as these have been known to benefit children with behavioural or learning difficulties that otherwise might struggle to join in more mainstream activities.”

The grant of £9,455 was approved to Codswallop CIC through a Youth Activities Fund application, which was approved by a sub-group of the Outer North West Community Committee.

All sessions last at least an hour and are at a flat rate of £2.50.

The award-winning Codswallop CIC was founded in 2013 by Jacob Phillips and was originally known as JP productions.

It provides inclusive and diverse arts events and activities and runs groups including drama, singing, music and art for people living in Aireborough. It is also involved in festivals and education programmes.

Codswallop is passionate about giving all people access to the arts as a way of improving life, mental health, confidence and social skills.