Building of new plant to create 300 jobs in Keighley

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Up to 300 construction jobs will be created in Keighley this year when work starts on the town’s massive £120 million clean-energy complex.

It was confirmed this week that building of the state-of-the-art development, on a derelict gasworks site at Marley, will begin early next winter.

And in another boost for employment in the town, it has been revealed that 34 workers made redundant just before Christmas when Keighley decorations company Fuzzwire collapsed have been taken on by a former competitor.

MK Illumination UK is now running the old Fuzzwire premises in Aireworth Grove and dealing with over 100 major Christmas lights contracts formerly handled by the failed firm.

In addition to the 34 jobs saved, a further 10 employees have been recruited.

“Following a strategic review at Christmas we are thrilled to now have former Fuzzwire employees and their valued expertise as part of our business,” said Paul Dove, sales director at MK Illumination UK.

“We look forward to including them in the MK Illumination team working on a growing portfolio of well known shopping centre clients across the UK.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the company and our next 12 months are all about consolidation for the business and maintaining the high level of quality and service we have become known for right across the country."

Major UK shopping centres now being served by MK Illumination as part of the Fuzzwire deal include the Arndale Centre in Manchester, Metrocentre at Gateshead and Canary Wharf, London.

In the last financial year, MK Illumination – whose international headquarters are in Innsbruck – had a turnover of more than £44m. It operates in over 120 countries.

Meanwhile those behind Keighley’s clean-energy plants, which got the go-ahead from Bradford Council’s regulatory and appeals committee earlier this month, have confirmed work will start by the end of this year and the complex should be complete by autumn 2016, to become fully operational that winter.

Three plants for recycling waste will be constructed on the site in Airedale Road, alongside the Aire Valley trunk road.

There will also be an education and visitor centre, plus a two-storey office building, parking and landscaping.

And a data storage centre and offices will be built on land in nearby Dalton Lane.

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.

Agent for the plans, John Steel, of JO Steel Consulting, said: “The applicant was greatly encouraged to get unanimous approval for the scheme, which will provide a massive boost to the local economy.”

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said the new jobs were “wonderful news” for the town.

"The numbers of jobs being created in Keighley continue to grow as the wider economic recovery takes hold,” he said.

“I am particularly pleased that unfortunate workers affected by the closure of Fuzzwire have been re-employed and, indeed, that additional posts have been created.

“As ever there can be no room for complacency, and in government we will continue to do all we can to maintain the momentum we have worked so hard to establish."

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