KEIGHLEY businesses are being invited to apply for grants of up to £315,000 to help with their development.

The cash is being awarded through the Towns Fund business growth programme.

Businesses based within the Keighley area, or seeking to move here, can apply.

Funding may be used to expand an existing company, safeguard or create jobs, or start a new business.

The scheme can also help firms invest in ‘green’ measures, such as solar panels, double glazing or more energy efficient roofing, if the investments boost productivity, efficiency, growth and employment.

A total of £2 million is allocated for the Keighley programme, part of the £33m Government-funded Towns Fund.

Similar grants are being offered to businesses in the Shipley Towns Fund area.

A number of Keighley-district firms have already received support from the initiative.

Yorkshire Precision Engineering Ltd successfully applied for grant aid to help fund a new type of lathe to increase production and allow the development of products for the healthcare sector, a fresh market for the business.

Pave Haworth Ltd, a deli and bistro in Haworth, received funding to support an extension into empty premises next door. The money will part-fund work to expand seating capacity, and extend the kitchen and basement. The project will also create three new full-time jobs and a number of part-time and seasonal posts.

Chef Akila Ltd, an Indian ready meal manufacturer, was awarded a grant to help fit out new premises in Keighley. The firm also bought equipment and employed new kitchen staff, and was able to work more closely with suppliers as productivity increased.

And approval of a grant application by Byworth Boilers will enable the company to replace some equipment, increasing productivity and creating five new jobs.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, says: "This funding is already reaping huge benefits for the businesses that have received grants so far and it has the potential to boost the economies of Keighley and Shipley. I hope other businesses will take advantage of it."

Ian Hayfield, chair of Keighley Towns Fund, says: "We are delighted to have been able to make a difference already to local businesses. The projects will help achieve real social and economic change for all parts of Keighley’s diverse community."

For further information about the Towns Fund business growth programme, including eligibility criteria and details of how to apply, visit