WORK has started on a £3.5 million scheme to transform a derelict Keighley site.

An industrial development – to be known as Foundry Park – is being built on a former council-owned plot, in Dalton Lane.

The 40,000-square-foot building will overlook historic Dalton Mills.

Behind the project is Turner Developments, which said more clarity over the Brexit situation had fuelled confidence within the business community.

James Turner, for the company, said: “We’ve had planning permission for the site since the spring of last year, but we felt we had to hold back because of political uncertainty and the log-jam over Europe.

“Now that we are in a more favourable business climate and we know the direction of travel, we feel able to press ahead.”

The development is the latest in a series in Keighley headed-up by the firm.

It was behind the Aireside Business Park, a 260,000sqft scheme for seven occupiers, and the Riverside Business Park – completed in 2017 to house five businesses.

“Keighley is a place that continues to surprise us,” said Mr Turner.

“There is a lot of business activity in the area. Engineering and manufacturing companies seem to be constantly coming forward with requirements for more space.

“We’re happy to press ahead with what is a speculative build because we feel we have a good understanding of the local market. Historically whatever we’ve built speculatively has gone very quickly and we expect this unit to do the same. It’s in one of Keighley’s key prime employment districts, with good links up and down the valley.”

The main contractor on the latest project, which should see the unit ready for occupation by the summer, is Stainforth Construction.

Architect was Horsley Townsend and the joint agents are Atkinson Associates and Hayfield Robinson.

The unit is being constructed on what was the site of a Victorian-era building, formerly part of Keighley College. The building was demolished five years ago.

Ian Hayfield, of Hayfield Robinson, said: “There’s a pent-up demand for industrial units throughout the Aire valley and surrounding districts. I’ve not seen such strong demand in the last 20 years.”