THE development of a large Keighley site will provide “much sought after” industrial units in the town.

Last year it was revealed Beechcliffe, to the west of the A629, near the Hard Ings roundabout had been earmarked for a 150,000-square-foot industrial park.

The Bradford Council-owned plot of land has been earmarked for employment use since the 1990s, and the site's redevelopment will be awarded £6m through the Government’s Towns Fund.

Members of Bradford Council were given an update on the plans at a recent meeting of the Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

The report said the Beechcliffe scheme would allow for the “redevelopment of the eight-acre brownfield site, to create a platform for the delivery of industrial units". 

Balfour Beatty has been appointed the contractor for the site and has started feasibility work on the site.

This phase of work is due to last a few weeks and involves undertaking a full site survey with site investigation works, which will mean the temporary closure of the footpath and cycle route which runs through the site.

The second phase will involve undertaking a full programme of work to remediate the site and deliver plots for development, as well as constructing an access road, and upgrading the existing footpath and cycle route which links Royd Ings with Utley.

At the committee meeting, members were told that the site has been earmarked for development for years.

Michelle Rushworth from Keighley Towns Fund said: “It doesn’t look much like a brownfield site as nature has taken over it over the years.

“It will be a platform to provide more industrial units in the town – something which is very much sought after in Keighley.”

Councillors asked why Keighley had received £33m through the Towns Fund while Shipley was awarded £25m.

Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, executive for regeneration, planning and transport on Bradford Council, said the £25m was the basic amount awarded to successful Towns Fund bids.

He said Keighley was able to leverage more funding due to its “strong manufacturing heritage” that made it an area of “regional significance". 

Liz Barker, acting chair of Keighley Towns Fund, said: “This £6m allocation is a very specific fund targeting the redevelopment of identified brownfield sites, taking the pressure off greenfield sites.

"The aim is to increase the supply of business accommodation in Keighley, which will bring a significant economic boost for the area.”