A KEIGHLEY animation studio is going from strength to strength.

And the company, founded in 2011, has now been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Distant Future Animation Studio is among the contenders in a new category of the Keighley & Airedale Business Awards, for media business of the year.

Managing director Bill Beaumont is delighted at the addition of the section, which he had pushed for.

“I wasn’t the only one calling out for this area of business to be included in future awards,” he said.

“It’s great to have the category added, as not only does it give recognition to the creative talent that exists in the area, but it also helps people recognise that Keighley is ready and willing to house and support businesses that focus on digital creativity.”

Distant Future Animation Studio draws its workforce from across Keighley, Skipton and Bradford, but regularly collaborates with other animators and illustrators across the world.

The company’s marketing specialist, Emma Ashcroft, said: “Working together, but remotely, really is one of our main strengths as a business.

“Due to both the creative and commercial nature of the projects we work on, the process can be as comprehensive as it is urgent, which means last-minute revisions might take production outside of UK office hours. It is at this point in the day that having a US-based animator – Mark Jackson in Columbus, Ohio – is highly valuable as he can pick up from where the UK team left off, completing any additional changes the client wishes to make ready for the start of the next business day.”

Distant Future works on a wide range of projects, from product animation and motion graphics to visual effects, primarily to promote brands.

Emma added: “Social media is one of the main influencers of the trend towards a more image and video-led way to tell your target audience about what your business does.

“With the General Data Protection Regulation legislation fast-approaching, e-mail marketing needs to go through some changes before it’s back to being an effective channel.

“Something else has to fill that gap and having a slick, dynamic and fresh video you can publish on your social media channels – as well as within your direct marketing content – does a much quicker job of informing potential new customers about what you do, which is one reason blue-chip customers have been so keen to utilise the many ways video can talk to their customers.”

She said the digital sector was seeing huge growth in the north, with a Leeds Digital Festival last month further fuelling that expansion.

“There is a great deal of this sector’s talent tucked away in places like Keighley and Hebden Bridge – both of which have their own ‘scenes’,” she added. “And due to both towns being close to Leeds and Manchester, there is a significant number of people who work in media based in and around the area.

“This definitely means that there is a growing digital scene surrounding the two major cities that has really continued to soar since the BBC migrated to Salford.”

This year’s Keighley & Airedale Business Awards take place on June 29.