THE search starts today for York's community heroes.

A rallying cry went out at the launch of a new campaign by the Evening Press and City of York Council.

As England celebrated St George's Day, BBC Look North presenter and proud York resident Harry Gration launched our York Community Pride campaign with Millthorpe School pupils outside the city's Mansion House.

Throughout the summer, we are calling on readers to get involved - and send us nominations for people and community projects that make a real difference.

Those judged best in the different categories will be recognised at an awards ceremony at the end of the year.

As part of the campaign, City of York Council is making available £50,000 a year for grants of up to £1,000 for community projects which could include sprucing up local buildings or bulb planting.

The campaign runs alongside the Evening Press backed York Business Pride, which calls on businesses to take pride in their city.

Evening Press editor Kevin Booth said at today's launch: "We are excited about this campaign because we feel that by highlighting the many efforts and achievements of local people, some of it may rub off and help promote a greater pride in our city."

Updated: 10:30 Friday, April 23, 2004