A MAJOR new business park planned for a prime plot just yards from Keighley College has been given the go-ahead.

The development of 20 units, a cafe and office space is set to create dozens of jobs and include a new engineering and technology centre.

A large site at the junction of Dalton Lane and Bradford Road is earmarked for the scheme. It will also incorporate the area occupied by the long-derelict former gas board building, opposite Asda supermarket.

Community leaders this week welcomed the venture, saying it would bring employment and boost skills.

The development will feature 17 smaller units for new businesses, plus three larger premises with trade counters.

The curved corner building at the Dalton Lane/Bradford Road junction would be retained as a cafe. There’d be parking for 85 cars and 20 bicycles.

Behind the application is steel manufacturer Modern Equipment & Foundry Engineering, which currently occupies the site.

A statement for the applicants said: “There have been direct requests from prospective tenants for the units on almost a weekly basis.”

Bradford Council planning officer, Stewart Currie, said: “The applicant employs a small number of people at the site, within an engineering firm. However, the development is likely to result in the creation of dozens of jobs, providing further employment and investment in Keighley.

“The applicant has revised the application to enable educational training within the units, for students at the neighbouring Keighley College campus.”

College principal, Steve Kelly, applauds the scheme.

He said: “The college, as part of the Towns Fund, has been successful in a bid for a new engineering and technology centre which we hope will be housed in the development.

“The centre will provide educational experiences for all ages, including those entering into engineering, as well as training for apprentices who work in the region.

“We have been working closely with local industry to develop our curriculum and there is a need for highly-skilled individuals to work in engineering, technology and logistics.

“Keighley College supports the development of this site as it will not only provide much-needed jobs but also give our students rich work experiences which will help them in the future.”

Town mayor, Councillor Julie Adams, also welcomes the development.

She said: “Anything that brings jobs and prosperity to the town and a brownfield site back into use has got to be a good thing.

“It’s a good use of a previously-developed site. Hopefully through the work with the college it will also help provide skills to our future generations.”