North Yorkshire communities are renowned as ‘self starters’ that work together to turn hopes and ideas into reality – and Filey fits that profile exactly.
But sometimes even the best ideas benefit from some financial backing and a host of important groups and developments have been able to flourish after receiving financial support from County Councillor Helen Swiers’ localities budget.
That is a cash pot available to every councillor annually to support the community they represent.
In Filey, Cllr Swiers has been using that money to positive effect for years, with an objective to help kickstart fledgling groups and that policy has seen a string of successful organisations develop.
Among them is Active Filey, an organisation set up to promote exercise, which has seen cycling groups, running events and sea swimming become regular events.
The demand is reflected in the numbers of people wanting to take part, but there are costs involved in ensuring events are managed safely and awards from Cllr Swiers have helped to meet those costs.
Her support has included contributing towards ride leader skills training for cycle groups, which now attract a mix of experienced and less skilled riders, along with youngsters.
Similar help has been provided for those who organise swimming and running groups.
“People have to be properly trained to do these things, otherwise it is not really safe,” she said.
“All these activities are free and they are really inclusive, because they are there for people of all abilities, so you don’t need to be really good at anything to join in.
“If there are local people with some knowledge and an interest in running groups, it is a good thing to help them keep people active. That cannot be a bad thing.”
Other projects to get support recently include the Filey Studio, an ambitious project that should provide a professional quality base for recording music and material for other purposes. As it moves forward, the project will also be financed by fundraising activities.
“The aim is to create a professional studio environment that can showcase local talent from all creative genres and bring people of all ages together in the enjoyment of their art,” said Cllr Swiers.
It is hoped the facility will be available to help other community projects raise their profile through an audio, video and social media presence.
Support has also been provided for an upgrade of St John’s Parish Centre, which will provide a base for many activities. Cllr Swiers has been able to step in with support for the funding of the pre-contract meeting and the architect’s fees for phase one.
Highly visible support has also been provided for the Filey in Bloom group and other improvements to the town’s infrastructure, such as the installation of a new traffic island at the end of Belle Vue Crescent to make it absolutely clear to drivers it was ‘no entry’, thus preventing them going the wrong way down a one-way road.