A ‘FILM Studio of the North’ could be built in West Yorkshire as a way of boosting the region’s economy.

The idea has been proposed by new West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin, who said she had already held meetings with the British Film Institute about the plans.

The scheme could provide a massive boost for the district, which is already popular with film crews.

Ms Brabin, a former actress, mentioned the proposal when she addressed a Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership meeting.

The partnership is made-up of business leaders from across West Yorkshire.

During the discussion, the partnership raised a number of issues about the local economy.

Ms Brabin, who was elected as the region’s first metro mayor last month, said businesses in the region were struggling to expand due to a lack of skilled applicants.

She reiterated her manifesto pledges of 1,000 more jobs for young people and to work to bring investment into the region from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.

She claimed a priority was to help upskill those living in the region, adding: “Listening to businesses, I’m hearing the biggest problem is around skills. You want to expand and bring on more staff, but it is about finding the people with the talent.

“We also need to meet the carbon emissions target for 2038. It gives us opportunities in the green sector and to re-industrialise those heartlands.” 

According to West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the region suffers from skills shortages for “technical roles at professional, skilled trades and technician levels”, which “constrains firm-level productivity and the performance of the wider economy”.

Reiterating her desire to help create a film studio in the region, she added: “One of those suggestions for boosting the creative economy is for a Film Studio of the North, and identifying where we will find the funding.

“I’ve lots of plans for young people around digital skills.”

At a mayoral hustings event back in April, she said talks were already underway to look into the possibility of making Yorkshire a major screen destination.

“I have already had meetings with the British Film Institute and others to talk about identifying a place where we can put a Film Studio of the North,” she said.

“We know the power of film to regenerate communities and bring jobs and skills. It can be done.”

Such a studio could be a huge boost for Keighley and the rest of the Bradford district, which has been used for numerous film and TV productions over the years. Dalton Mills, the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and Haworth – with its Bronte connections ­– are all popular locations.