KEIGHLEY College is to train 20 new apprentices being recruited by a high-tech aerospace firm.

Produmax is taking on the apprentices – and creating skilled engineering jobs – after receiving £100,000 in rates relief from Bradford Council.

The company – which produces components for commercial and military aircraft – is also planning to invest in new machinery to help meet increasing demand for its products from markets in North America, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Austria, China and Japan.

The funding has been awarded under the local authority’s investment and jobs-boosting District Growth Scheme.

The rate relief initiative was launched by Bradford Council in March.

Based around the hugely-successful City Centre Growth Scheme, the programme provides businesses across the district with financial incentives to invest and expand operations, create new jobs and bring empty buildings back into use.

It offers rate reductions of up to about £170,000 over three years.

The scheme is split into three elements.

New Investment Relief provides up to three years’ rate relief for new developments creating 20 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Listed Building Relief supports businesses looking to develop heritage premises. Firms that refurbish listed properties vacant for over a year can receive sliding-scale rate relief, from 100 per cent in the first12 months to 25 per cent in year three.

And Town Centre Rate Relief encourages businesses to move into Keighley, Shipley, Ilkley or Bingley.

Firms that move into previously-vacant properties or expand into unoccupied space can receive 12 months’ rate relief.

Schemes must create new jobs in the district. Eligible businesses will be entitled to £16,000 of rate relief for every new permanent full-time job created, up to a maximum of the business’ annual rates bill.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw – Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport – said the manufacturing sector was a key growth area for the district and that supporting it was an important part of the authority’s economic strategy.

He added: “We are thrilled to see cutting-edge firms such as Produmax expanding and creating jobs within Bradford district.

“It’s great that these high-value aerospace jobs include new apprenticeships, which will be provided locally.

“The first recipient of the District Growth Scheme was in Ilkley, so it’s pleasing to see another thriving business in the district benefit as well.

“This shows how we’re supporting business growth right across the district.

“The City Centre Growth and District Growth Schemes are part of a wider package designed to boost investment, skills and jobs across Bradford.”

For further information about the council’s business support programmes, visit, e-mail or call 01274 437727.