A NEW multi-million-pound development planned for Keighley would make the town a global leader in cutting-edge technology and potentially create hundreds of jobs, it's claimed.

The so-called Advanced Robotics and Engineering Institute is earmarked for part of the Stockbridge council depot site.

Keighley College and Bradford University would support research and development in emerging technologies such as advanced robotics.

High-level skills training and educational opportunities would be offered, and entrepreneurial businesses set up clustered around the facility.

The scheme is amongst those put forward by Bradford Council as it bids for Government levelling-up funding.

Council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, says: "If supported by the Government, this ambitious scheme could transform Keighley into a world leader in cutting-edge technology and provide hundreds of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs.

"The Advanced Robotics and Engineering Institute could offer higher-level education and training in science and engineering whilst opening up prime business land to give entrepreneurs the space to grow new high-tech businesses and employ local graduates.

"The powerful public-private synergy that would be unleashed could be truly transformative for Keighley, so we really hope the Government supports this highly innovative proposal."

Town mayor, Councillor Luke Maunsell, said the plans were "very exciting".

He added: "If the scheme happens – which I hope it does – the depot site will be transformed for the good of businesses, the college, Bradford University and the town overall.

"Keighley deserves the best and these plans go one step further to regenerating this fabulous town, as well as putting it on the map for cutting-edge research and development."

Kevin O’Hare, principal at Keighley College, said he was "absolutely delighted" to support the initiative.

"Our purpose here at the college is to improve the life chances of all of our learners and we want to achieve this through transformational teaching experiences and superb resources," he said.

"This project will place Keighley at the centre of the region's next technological revolution. Advanced manufacturing, intelligent machines and high-quality collaborative research will contribute to supporting and growing our fantastic industrial base, as well as tackling the challenges presented by environmental and climate change.

"This will be the first cross-institution collaborative further and higher education project in the area. Combining our teaching, learning, research and development knowledge with employers’ engineering and manufacturing expertise will give the project national and international recognition – and put Keighley on the map for innovation.

"That is hugely aspirational for the town and for our learners."