THE creation of a green corridor linking Dewsbury and Huddersfield is a step nearer.
Up to £360,000 has been earmarked by development agency Yorkshire Forward for the first phases of the Kirklees Council plan.
The Calder Valley Greenway, an 11km route for walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists and horse riders, will be designed to encourage people to leave their cars at home for short journeys and to bring a touch of recreational countryside to largely urban areas.
It will include bringing back into use the spectacular Bradley viaduct which will carry walkers and cyclists across the river and canal from Dalton Bank to Leeds Road.
Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of the Yorkshire and Humber area, has now provided more backing.
It has already put in £106,000 to build the northern section of the Spen Valley Greenway.
Clr Ann Denham, Kirklees Cabinet member for Environment and Highways, said: "We welcome Yorkshire Forward's support for the Calder Valley Greenway.
"This level of commitment endorses Kirklees Council's approach to developing a network of greenway routes across the district.
"The popularity of other routes like the Spen Valley Greenway demonstrates the important role they play in encouraging a more sustainable way of living in Kirklees.
"The Calder Greenway will provide a whole new traffic-free route to link communities along the valley. Crossing the Bradley viaduct will give fantastic panoramic views of Huddersfield and will be an exciting experience for any walker or cyclist."
The greenway will be built over the next few years and will cost about £1m.
It will cater for walkers, cyclists, people with disabilities and horse riders where practical.
The project is a partnership between Kirklees Council, Sustrans (the charity that works on practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport), the local community including the Calder Valley Greenway Forum and landowners.
Mike Smith, head of sustainable development at Yorkshire Forward, said: "We are committed to developing the region's towns and cities as places to live, work and invest.
"The provision of green spaces is an integral part of that commitment."