THE Department for Work and Pensions has applied for permission to make changes to the former Beales department store in Keighley.

However, the Government department has refused to confirm that the building will be used as the planned temporary job centre for the town proposed earlier this Summer.

The city centre department store, part of the Airedale Shopping Centre and one of the biggest shop units in the town, was one of 12 to shut its doors last year after the 139-year-old business fell into administration.

In May the DWP announced it planned to open a new temporary Job Centre in Keighley, as well as two in Bradford.

They would be to deal with the rising unemployment levels caused by the Covid pandemic.

The department has now submitted a planning application to Bradford Council to make changes to the Low Street building - including the creation of new shop fronts and access ramps.

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Despite containing few details of the plans for the building, it says the work will involve the change of use of 1,500 square metres of retail space to "other professional services."

When asked about the Beales application, and for an update on where the new Bradford centres would be based, a DWP spokesperson said: "New temporary jobcentres are being considered, but for commercial reasons we are unable to provide any further information at this stage."

"Once leases are signed on temporary premises, we will update the list and details will be published on”

When the Telegraph & Argus visited the site this week work was being done inside the building.