AN ECONOMY-boosting initiative that could see more than £1 million pumped into Keighley has won the backing of senior councillors.

A report presented to Bradford Council's executive on Tuesday received the seal of approval from members.

Under the scheme, traders would pay a 1.5 per cent levy on their business rates to fund a raft of improvements in the town centre aimed at attracting more visitors and investment.

If successful, Keighley's creation of a so-called Business Improvement District (BID) would be worth more than a million pounds over five years.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Keighley Town Centre Association.

Steve Seymour, the association chairman, said: "I am delighted that the council executive has given its approval, which is recognition of the work that has been done so far, but this is only another step in the process and there is still a long way to go."

His comments are echoed by Keighley town centre manager, Philip Smith, who added: "The report to the executive was detailed and gave as much information as is available.

"We are still only at an early stage but are looking to progress things."

Businesses in the BID area would vote on a package of measures – agreed through consultation – which could include increased marketing, new events throughout the year and better information points for visitors and shoppers.

A questionnaire was distributed to Keighley businesses to gauge what type of projects they would like to see money spent on.

Findings have been analysed and a consultation paper will be drawn up.

BIDs were introduced to the UK just over a decade ago and there are now around 200. Each covers a defined geographical area.