£19m sought to make a ‘recession-busting’ difference to town’s economy

Bradford Council has revealed new details of its multi-million pound bid to “Level Up” Keighley.

The local authority has submitted a £19m bid designed to drive highly-skilled and paid jobs, open up prime business space and upgrade an important commuter route into the town.

It also aims to give education and training a boost. A new reconfigured and expanded Keighley College and Bradford University Advanced Manufacturing hub would support research and development in emerging technologies such as advanced robotics.

The high-tech Advanced Robotics and Engineering Institute (AREI) facility would offer higher level skills and research and development, HNC, HND, Degree, Master; and PhD opportunities to stimulate local engineering innovation.

The existing council depot at Stockbridge would be demolished to create the reconfigured facilities and a large proportion of the site would be offered to entrepreneurs to create new advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses clustered around the college and university.

Over 366,000 sq ft of prime business space could be opened up with the potential to host over 700 new jobs.

The funded groundworks, flood alleviation, and site clearance could convert brownfield land into lucrative employment space at Beechcliffe, Airedale Park, Bradford Road, Walk Mills and Marriners Walk.

A further 32,300 sq ft of employment floor space will be developed at Stockbridge as part of the AREI campus.

Bradford Council has submitted a proposal to transform the Keighley Worth Valley Railway into an enhanced rail transport hub offering workers a fast and efficient commute into the town.

This includes boosting capacity by restoring and upgrading two tracks and improving the rolling stock to produce a quick and reliable link between Keighley and Oxenhope.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “Keighley remains a great place for businesses to grow and invest.

“The district is the UK’s number one Levelling Up opportunity and we have put in a significant amount of time and money into this bid to ensure it is compelling and competitive.

“These ambitious proposals include a range of recession-busting projects which, if supported by the Government, will make a significant difference to the area.”