INNOVATIVE new ways of using drone technology are to be tested in the district.

Bradford is one of only five areas across the UK chosen to pioneer different applications.

The Flying High Challenge aims to shape how the remote-controlled craft could be utilised in the future.

And the findings will play a part in formulating national policies and regulations.

Uses the drones could be tested for include capturing information from above immediately following emergency situations, such as floods, or to assess the structural safety of buildings in the aftermath of fires.

They may also provide thermal and visual surveys of premises to monitor energy efficiency, and be used to inspect historical structures.

But the drones might also lend themselves to transporting tissue or samples for hospitals in emergencies, and even be deployed to help manage traffic or anti-social behaviour.

Monitoring vegetation and invasive species are also possibilities.

Bradford Council will work on the venture with innovation foundation Nesta and partner organisations in the district.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, welcomed the council’s involvement in the project.

“Bradford district is going to be at the forefront of developments in this exciting technology,” he said.

“The drone has some very promising applications in disaster response, digital health, surveying and community safety.

“The Flying High Challenge presents us with the opportunity to be pioneers in the drone industry, shaping policy and regulation, developing new technologies and attracting investment and jobs into the district.”

Nishita Dewan, programme lead for the challenge, said Bradford was chosen to participate for its strengths in technological innovation and partnership working and its enthusiasm to adopt new technologies.

“The entries to the Flying High Challenge showed the huge appetite from cities across the UK to develop models for drones that work for their people and communities,” she added.

“Some of the earliest drone testing was done in Bradford and the district’s densely populated urban areas, moorland, farmland and woodland offers the project a range of diverse environments in which to try out the technology.

“Cities represent an important medium, through which we can understand the public’s needs.

“We want to co-create a solution that understands the needs of local people and the future city they want to live in.

“In the subsequent phases of the challenge, the five cities that have been selected will become test beds for future demonstrations.”