Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls visits Dalton Mills, Keighley

Ed Balls plays pool during his Keighley visit

Ed Balls plays pool during his Keighley visit

First published in Keighley

SHADOW chancellor Ed Balls went to pot during a fact-finding visit to Keighley today.

He took on an 18-year-old apprentice at a game of pool while touring the Dalton Mills business centre.

Denholme teenager Molly Bloodworth proved a worthy opponent of the Labour politician even though he potted the black.

The pair were watched by Molly’s workmates at Tech and Print as they played in the IT company’s recreation room.

Ed had previously chatted with Molly about how her apprenticeship in digital marketing and social media was benefitting both her and her employers.

Former Parkside School student Molly said she was able to receive a wage while combining study and practical work.

Mr Balls was accompanied by John Grogan, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Keighley, on his tour of historic Dalton Mills.

He saw how property developer Paul Harris had been revitalising Dalton Mills since buying the former 19th-century textile mill in 2013.

The complex was already home to several businesses, and now Mr Harris is attracting strong interest for other, previously-derelict areas of the complex.

Mr Balls and Mr Grogan first walked around the empty Genappe Mill, which is due to be renovated later this year, then visited flourishing businesses in renovated sections.

At the Renaissance Motorcycle Workshop, which provides training in motorbike bike maintenance, tutor Roger Henderson told Mr Balls about the importance of training young people in engineering.

Mr Balls agreed that highly-skilled British engineers were needed to ensure businesses could prosper.

He said: “We really need a tight relationship between colleges, universities and employers to say ‘these are the skills we need in the next few years’, then run those courses.”

Mr Balls was impressed that the regeneration of the mill, which at its height employed 2,000 people, was generating a new generation of jobs.

He said: “The mill is a monument to past success, but also a big vote of confidence in Keighley’s future."

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