Keighley & Ilkley MP, Robbie Moore, writes:

THIS month, Keighley had the proud honour of hosting this year’s Yorkshire Day celebrations – a privilege awarded to just one host town or city within the whole of Yorkshire each year. This was a fantastic day to celebrate our town – over 150 civic dignitaries from right across our wonderful county visited Keighley and it was a great opportunity to put Keighley on the map.

Keighley is a mighty place, full of great people who are all passionate about our town. Whilst once home to Britain’s textile industry, we now have many amazing small, medium and large-sized businesses operating at levels from local to international, many of whom are at the very forefront of manufacturing, engineering and technology in the United Kingdom and beyond. It really never fails to amaze me what is made here – we have Timothy Taylor’s producing beer which is drunk all over the country, Fibreline Ltd who over the last 40 years have grown to be a leading supplier of upholstery fillings to the UK furniture industry, Byworth Boilers who manufacture and supply industrial-sized boilers to markets all over the globe, and Wyedean Weaving who supply military uniforms to the Ministry of Defence. And it doesn’t stop here by any means; we have some of Yorkshire’s, and the country’s, finest tourist attractions in the Bronte Parsonage Museum, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, and the Keighley Carnegie Library – the first-ever Carnegie public library in England.

Keighley’s offering is exceptional, not just for local people, but for the entire country. In this spirit, I take every opportunity I can to showcase Keighley on the national stage, and last month – just before Parliament broke up for the August recess – I was lucky enough to host some of our fantastic local businesses down in Westminster. This included some of those businesses I mentioned earlier, as well as Chocolate of Haworth and Grandma Wild's. It was an amazing and diverse offering on show, from breweries to food shops and museums to manufacturers. The event was a huge success, with all of us being joined by MPs from across Yorkshire and indeed the wider country. Ministers including the food minister Victoria Prentis sampled local delights, and members of the Cabinet including Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey could talk to businesses about the opportunities they provide to people across Keighley and beyond. Whilst I could only facilitate seven businesses on this day, it was just a small representation about what is great about our town.

Yes, there is an endless list of what we can celebrate about Keighley. Yet it is my mission to make sure it becomes an even better place to live, work and enjoy. Only last month, I managed to secure over two million pounds announced by the Government to improve the facilities at Cougar Park, home of the mighty Keighley Cougars – who are doing superb at the moment! Not only will this help them provide an amazing matchday experience for local people, but it can also boost their grassroots offering, which is already doing so much for local people. And of course, tens of millions of pounds has already been secured to transform parts of Keighley. This includes funding for projects like a new skills hub, a new Manufacturing, Engineering and Future Tech Hub, a new health and wellbeing hub, together with £14m being allocated towards bringing brownfield sites back into use.

These are really exciting times for Keighley. Yes, we have challenges and these need to be dealt with, not least drug crime and anti-social behaviour, and of course some of the darker issues which haunt our community such as child sexual exploitation that I have spoken about many a time – but we also need to shout out from the rooftops about what is great and drive aspiration for our town. As a community, we are pulling together to stamp down on these issues. You only need to look at projects such as Keighley Together, which has brought a partnership approach with the police, the local town council and community groups to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in areas where it is happening all too often. It is this collaboration and teamwork which shows that we are facing up to these local challenges.

As your MP, I am determined to put Keighley on the map and I will not stop banging the drum for our town. We have a lot to offer which is why I was so pleased that this Yorkshire Day, the sun shone on Keighley – but it is incumbent on all of us, not least me, to make sure the sun keeps shining on our town so we can make it an even better place to be.