Boost for Keighley Businesses

Cash boosts from the Keighley Towns Funds have recently boosted two local businesses creating four jobs plus two apprenticeships, and other businesses are still invited to apply.

The Capital Assistance to Business Growth Programme is part of the government-funded Towns Fund and there is £4m available to support local businesses in the Keighley and Shipley areas, with approximately £2m allocated to each. Grants are allocated by Towns Fund boards for each town, made up of private sector representatives, with support from Bradford Council.

Funding has so far been spent on a wide range of projects by businesses across the district such as expanding and modernising facilities, as well as replacing older equipment with more efficient, up-to-date systems.

One of the latest businesses to benefit has been George Green of Keighley Ltd. As one of the UK’s leading designers, suppliers and installers of pipework and fabricated metal products, George Green can meet exact engineering needs, quickly and innovatively. Over the past 20 years, George Green has worked with many clean and wastewater industry clients, helping them successfully deliver major projects. 

In the last twelve months, the business has secured new contracts and wanted to invest in new equipment. This new equipment comprising dual welding console, and pipe expander has enabled them to become the sole UK supplier of thermal sleeve and socketed pipework to the UK water market. Previously this pipework had to be imported into the UK. The £21,192.49 grant from the Keighley Towns Fund means they now have new machinery and technology, and have created two new jobs, alongside two apprenticeships. 

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, explained: “It’s so positive to see how this funding is already making such a significant impact. It has directly translated into growth for the businesses who have received it so far and the welcome creation of new jobs for the area.

“Grants ranging from £1,500 to £315,000 are still available for businesses within – or looking to move to - the Keighley and Shipley Towns Fund Areas, and other businesses are invited to apply.”

Ian Hayfield, chairman of Keighley Towns Fund, said: “We are delighted to have made such a significant difference to these local businesses in a relatively short space of time. Keighley has a proud industrial heritage and a thriving and enterprising business community. There is funding available for businesses who would benefit and we’re keen to help Keighley’s businesses to grow. I would encourage anyone interested in applying to get in touch.”

Print and Direct Mail business Fretwell Print and Design, of Goulbourne Street in Keighley, recently received £19,989 towards replacing their printer with a new model. It has created two new production operative roles, to join the 48-strong team.

Joint Managing Director Andy Gillett said: “We produce high-quality printed packaging, literature and direct mail products for many large blue-chip companies and organisations both here in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

“We used the Keighley Towns Fund grant to purchase a Kyocera 4-colour inkjet machine, enabling us to increase productivity as well as saving time and resources. The machine also means we’re making an 86 per cent saving in energy consumption.

“The process in securing the grant was straightforward and we were guided through by Bradford Council. It’s an investment that means we’ll be able to grow our existing customer base and open up new markets, as the speed of service will make us even more competitive.

“I’d definitely recommend other businesses contact the team to see if they can benefit – this kind of support for local businesses is crucial in the current economic climate.”