A £1 MILLION funding pot for small and medium-sized enterprises is being rolled out across the area.

The initiative will provide grants of up to £20,000 to support the growth of start-up and existing businesses.

Funds will be available to buy equipment leading to the creation of new products, services and jobs.

The move follows the launch in the Leeds City Region – which includes Keighley – of the Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) project, being delivered by the University of York.

It already operates in North and East Yorkshire regions, where it was established in 2016 and is on track to create over 130 new jobs and 100 products.

Programme manager, Vicky Wren, says she is "excited" to see the venture rolled out.

"We are thrilled to be able to extend the support to businesses in the Leeds City Region," she added.

"We've had great feedback from businesses we have already worked with, and the growth impact the grants have made on small businesses has been fantastic.

"Now we’re looking forward to helping businesses in the Leeds City Region, and I encourage firms to get in touch with their project ideas."

Companies that have already benefited from the scheme include 10Squared Ltd, a digital solutions business.

It used its £20,000 grant to buy a CNC laser cutting machine.

General manager, Gary Steele, said the funding had proved invaluable.

"The machine has allowed us to take on new contracts with more-complex designs and expand our product range," he said.

"As a result of the investment our lead times have reduced, meaning we can offer a greater service to customers – which in turn has had a significant effect on turnover.

"The whole grant process was extremely straightforward, with fantastic support from the PAPI team."

The PAPI project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

And it forms a part of the European Structural and Investment Funds growth programme for 2014 to 2020.

Businesses seeking further information, and wanting to check their eligibility for a grant, should visit papi.org.uk or call 01904 328076.