Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
‘Massive’ 600 jobs in power plant bid for Keighley
A £120 million ‘clean energy’ complex will create a staggering 600 jobs for Keighley, it has been revealed this week.
Three plants for recycling waste could be constructed on the derelict former gasworks site in Airedale Road, alongside the Aire Valley trunk road at Marley.
The pioneering project would also include an education and visitor centre, a four-storey office building, parking and landscaping.
A data storage centre and offices would be built on land in nearby Dalton Lane as well.
And the ‘massive’ potential boost to the town’s beleaguered economy was warmly welcomed by key community leaders.
Lord Mayor of Bradford and Keighley councillor Khadim Hussain said: “It will regenerate a currently derelict site, provide a massive jobs boost and bring clean energy to the town.
“It’s a very ambitious vision and a complex operation but can only be good for the people of Keighley. It gets my thumbs-up.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins also pledged his support.
“These plans represent a magnificent opportunity for Keighley, both with regard to clean energy creation but also in terms of inward investment and job creation,” he said.
“The town needs this boost, and I hope the new plant will prove to be a catalyst for more investment from other sources as Keighley’s profile is raised. I will certainly do all I can to provide whatever support is required.”
Already-processed commercial and industrial waste will be brought to the plants, which together will be capable of producing 80,000,000 kWh of electricity a year – virtually enough to power the whole town.
Behind the impressive scheme is the Halton Group, which owns the sites and intends submitting a full planning application to Bradford Council later this month.
Proposals will then go before the regulatory and appeals committee, probably in February. If the project gets the green light, work could start next autumn and the complex be operational by the end of 2016.
At least 300 jobs would be created during the construction phase and, once operational, more than 250 people would be employed in the plants and offices.
Plans for the initiative were put on display in Keighley Civic Centre last Wednesday afternoon to give the public the chance to view them and provide feedback.
Among those present were agent John Steel, of JO Steel Consulting, and representatives of the architects Halliday Clark.
“The vast majority of comments we received were favourable – we are very pleased with the reaction,” said Mr Steel.
“People have been completing feedback forms, which will be extremely helpful to us. And there will be further opportunity for public comment during the planning process.”
Concerns raised included emissions from the site and the type of waste being handled.
Nick Pearce, from Halliday Clark, said the facility would operate within tightly-defined air quality requirements set by the Environment Agency.
And he added the processed waste being brought to the complex would comprise plastics, building materials and tyre ‘crumbs’.
The electricity produced would go into the national grid.
Keighley mayor, Coun Sally Walker, also welcomed the project.
“It is something that’s relatively new in this country, and I like the idea of us being at the forefront,” she said.
“It’s an exciting scheme and a great thing for Keighley – it will give the town a huge lift.”
Comments are closed on this article.