Philip Davies calls for more money to be found for Saltaire

Read it on the Telegraph and Argus

By Anika Bourley

No money has been given to Saltaire by the region's quango set up to bring investment and jobs to the area - while other World Heritage Sites have been handed millions.

Information given to Shipley MP Philip Davies shows development agency Yorkshire Forward has not paid out any cash to either Saltaire or Studley Royal in North Yorkshire.

But Yorkshire Forward today said it had not given any money because no-one had asked for any.

In comparison, Advantage West Midlands has given £11.5 million to its region's World Heritage Site - Ironbridge Gorge - since 2005.

A report by the Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee in 2006 said regional development agencies should recognise the importance of investing in heritage sites to showcase tourist attractions across the country.

Tory Mr Davies, who is a member of the committee and whose constituency includes Saltaire, said: "We recommended cash should be given to preserve these special World Heritage Sites. While other agencies across the country are spending millions, Saltaire has been given absolutely nothing.

"Once again the Shipley constituency is getting a raw deal out of Yorkshire Forward - this unaccountable and unelected body.

"World Heritage Sites are the jewel in the crown of Yorkshire. Yorkshire Forward spends £330 million a year and not a single penny has gone on our special sites. This is bad enough, but even worse when other areas are having millions spent on their sites."

Mr Davies said Saltaire was of great importance to the local tourism industry and money should be given to allow a tourist information centre to get up and running, which in turn would boost the economy.

He said: "All I ask of Yorkshire Forward is to give Saltaire the average amount other sites are getting. I am not asking for more, but the money would make a massive difference."

A spokesman for Yorkshire Forward said: "The Yorkshire and Humber region is lucky enough to have two World Heritage Sites - at Saltaire and Fountains Abbey with Studley Royal.

"The reason neither site has received funding from Yorkshire Forward in the past is simply that neither has requested it.

"Both sites will, however, have benefited from Yorkshire Forward's investment in other areas, such as tourism and business development. For example, in Saltaire Yorkshire Forward has funded both the Advanced Digital Institute and supported set-top box manufacturer Pace, both of whom contribute positively to the local economy.

"Needless to say, should either site apply for funding from Yorkshire Forward, their applications would be considered on the same grounds as any other."