BRADFORD Council says it has received "positive" Government feedback about the Keighley bid for levelling up funding – despite the application being rejected.

The council had sought around £20 million for several ambitious town schemes, as part of a district package.

But none of the projects were successful.

Keighley proposals included an Advanced Robotics and Engineering Institute, earmarked for part of the Stockbridge council depot site. It was claimed the scheme would make the town a global leader in cutting-edge technology and potentially create hundreds of jobs. The state-of-the-art centre would see Keighley College and Bradford University support research and development in emerging technologies. High-level skills training and educational opportunities would be offered, and entrepreneurial businesses set up clustered around the facility.

Also included in the bid was the unlocking of brownfield sites for industrial development, and improvements which would have seen the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway become a major transport hub and commuter route. Upgraded signalling would enable more services to be run on the five-mile line, and the railway's fleet of diesel multiple units were to be overhauled – with a dedicated storage and maintenance facility created.

Submissions were also made for schemes in Bradford South and East, and in Shipley constituency.

Now feedback has been provided on all the bids, which district-wide amounted to over £100m.

The Keighley application was said to have "clear strengths in respect of the strategic case for investment and strong partnerships in place".

"Positive" efforts had been made to engage with the majority of relevant stakeholders, and broad feedback set out in the application showed good support for the proposals.

The council's strategic director for place, David Shepherd, says that while there was disappointment the bids were unsuccessful, he was encouraged by the feedback.

He said: "We are really encouraged by the positive feedback.

"Naturally we were disappointed not to be successful with the applications, as weeks and months of work went into producing them. But the feedback shows they were strong and robust and we will use the guidance to refine them further ready for the next round of funding, or to seek other opportunities to deliver these much-needed projects for Bradford district."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, the council's portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, says: "The feedback from Government officers confirms what we said all along, which is that the bids were strong enough to be considered for funding."