A major Keighley employer has given a vote of confidence to Airedale’s economy by applying to build a new warehouse on land beside its town centre site.

Long-established building firm R N Wooler and Co wants to transform the brownfield site behind its headquarters beside Lawkholme Lane. And Gareth Wooler, one of its directors, said there was a new mood of optimism in 2014 as they go from strength to strength.

“In the first few months of the past two years, we’ve sometimes struggled to keep everyone fully occupied, but this year we are very busy with our own projects and lots of contract work,” Mr Wooler said.

“You could say we are starting to see a few of those green shoots of recovery.”

The project has been submitted to Bradford planners by Leeds-based architects Bowman Riley. “The site is just over an acre, and the plan is to build a bolt-on facility to existing buildings, which are fully used at the moment,” Mr Wooler said.

He said although the 26-year-old family firm has other smaller depots in Airedale, it made sense to develop spare space in Keighley.

“It’s much more practical when it comes to storage of materials to have it in Keighley where most people are based, so we are looking to put up a building as soon as possible,” he said.

“There will also be a car park and storage areas for safe sorting and segregating of materials.”

The builders employ some 200 workers, and are back at full strength after suffering massive fire damage in 2007.

“The joinery was rebuilt after the fire, and so everything is up and running,” Mr Wooler said.

“We want to get on and develop the site as soon as we can, but that will depend on fitting around outside jobs we have.”