KEIGHLEY and Shipley will receive a funding boost of up to £25 million from the government to develop "innovative regeneration plans".

This morning it was announced that 100 towns would share a £3.6 billion "Towns Fund" created by the Government, with Keighley and Shipley named as beneficiaries in the Bradford District.

The government says the list of 100 towns chosen for the pot "include places with proud industrial and economic heritage but have not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas."

The fund has today been announced by Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.

Other local towns to benefit include Morley, Todmorden, Dewsbury, Wakefield and Castleford.

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now "join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture" - according to the Government.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said the final amount for each place is dependent on the proposals that come forward and deals being agreed.

They added: "We will work with towns across the country to listen to local people and give greater power to communities in developing the innovative proposals that work for their area to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place."

Shipley and Keighley are the only areas to be listed together in the Government's announcement.

The spokesman added: "Shipley and Keighley have been chosen to work together on proposals for a Town Deal, as in some instances, it makes sense to cluster towns where they have less than 15,000 population or are very close together."

Local Government Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.

“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.

“I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced today to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place. I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.”

The Government will soon publish a prospectus to guide towns through the process and set eligibility criteria for funding.

Keighley MP John Grogan said he very much welcomed the announcement, but warned: “At this stage this is an invitation to bid rather than money in the bank for Keighley and Shipley.

“I look forward to working on an all-party basis with Keighley Business Improvement District, Keighley Town Council, Bradford Council and many others besides to come up with concrete proposals to put to Government.”

Shipley MP Philip Davies said said he was “absolutely delighted” to get the money.

He said: "I have been lobbying hard for government support for our area, setting out the case for regeneration, and I am thrilled government listened and has seen how much potential the Shipley constituency has and what investing in it can achieve.

“Too often money is allocated specifically to Bradford Council and my constituents are missing out as money is spent in Labour heartlands.

"I have repeatedly said this in Parliament and spoken to ministers about how I can ensure a fair deal for my area, so I am very pleased this cash is specifically for improvements to Shipley.

"I look forward to speaking with Bradford Council’s Chief Executive Kersten England and all other interested parties in the coming days about how best to proceed and use the money to ensure it has the biggest impact and benefits everyone in the area.”