£58.6m granted to Bradford district towns

Keighley and Shipley Town Deal Boards have successfully bid for over £58m in government regeneration funding providing a major boost for the local economy.

Keighley will receive £33.6m and Shipley will be given £25m in Towns Fund grants.

The funding will be spent on capital projects designed to improve connectivity, improving local land use, making the best use of economic and cultural assets and improving local skills and enterprise infrastructure.

The Town Deal Boards each submitted a comprehensive Town Investment Plan to the government, setting out proposals for 18 projects designed to rejuvenate the towns and bolster economic growth.

The Town Deal Boards are chaired by private sector business leaders and include representatives from local public, private and community sector organisations.

Each board set out a clear vision and strategy for the towns and identified projects to help boost the local economy and create much needed employment and training opportunities.

Projects set out in Keighley’s bid included:

  • A fund to restore and repurpose buildings and redevelop sites for commercial and residential use.
  • Town Centre Improvements with an improved public spaces and connectivity of the town centre.
  • A space and facilities to support and develop skills for local employment and entrepreneurship including a Keighley skills hub delivering education and skills courses to adult learners of all ages to support transition to employment, and a new training hub specialising in manufacturing and engineering skills.
  • Supporting small businesses to grow and adapt and diversify in a changing climate and the third sectors’ development through improving commercial space and strengthening their impact on the local economy and community.
  • A community arts hub creating a cultural destination in Keighley town centre and supporting the development of the Keighley Art and Film Festival and establishing a textile academy which will deliver a bespoke skills training package for local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women to improve pathways into skilled and better work.
  • An integrated health and wellbeing centre in the heart of Keighley bringing together GP services including self-care and prevention, as well as community care, mental health, dental care services and a GP training hub.
  • A project supporting active travel in the town including repairs to the cobbled setts on Keighley Twines

Projects set out in Shipley’s bid included:

  • A fund to restore and repurpose buildings and redevelop sites for commercial and residential use.
  • Monies for town centre improvements - Shipley’s Market Square and public spaces and connectivity to and around the town centre.
  • Supporting and developing skills for local employment and entrepreneurship including the development of digital skills across a range of disciplines.
  • Supporting small businesses to grow and adapt and diversify in the changing climate and develop and upgrade the exhibition space in Shipley Library to showcase local entrepreneurs, craftspeople, makers and small businesses including support, mentoring and training opportunities, networking events and workspace facilities.
  • Developing assets and infrastructure that promotes healthy habits and exercise and better value existing natural assets including:
    • Wrose Quarry Wetlands - Regenerating the heritage site at Wrose Hill/Quarry, including adding accessible footpaths, improving biodiversity by creating new wetland features and tree planting, adding new recreational features.
    • A community hub offering volunteering, social community events, wellbeing and personal development opportunities alongside more targeted access to specialist creative facilities and equipment.
    • A health and wellbeing campus offering wide range of integrated support services delivered by a skilled workforce and a team of volunteers who are trained in engaging, assessing, motivating and giving people the tools to improve their health and wellbeing.

Adam Clerkin, chair of Shipley’s Town Deal Board, said: "This is fantastic news for Shipley. The team has worked very hard to submit this bid and will continue to work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for our town."

Ian Hayfield, chair of Keighley’s Town Deal Board, said: "Ten months ago I invited the private, public and voluntary sectors to go on a journey with my board and myself. By working together I always felt that we could achieve deliverable and 'real' change. We have now got off to a great start. I’m confident that by continuing to all work together we can now turn all the submitted projects into reality.

"The journey continues - I look forward to having involvement with the next chapter."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: "This funding will give Shipley and Keighley a major economic boost and help the towns to recover from the economic downturn.

"Council officers and board members have worked incredibly hard on these bids and this success clearly reflects the strong spirit of private and public cooperation within the partnerships.

"This funding will unlock the incredibly potential of these towns and we look forward to working with local partners to make the most of this incredible opportunity."