BUSINESSES in Keighley have so far received over £270,000 in support through the Towns Fund.

And more firms are being urged to apply for backing from the fund's Capital Assistance to Business Growth programme.

Around £2m each has been allocated from the programme to Keighley and Shipley.

Latest figures show that up to September this year, 13 businesses in Keighley had shared £276,000 in grants.

Amongst the beneficiaries is Aire Valley Architectural (Aluminium) Ltd, based in Parkwood Street.

It received £16,775 towards machine software and installation, and an upgrade to the factory's facilities. One new job was created.

Chris Kilvington, the firm's sales director, says: "The business was established in 1994 and we’ve been in this same building since 2002.

"The grant has allowed us to improve the facilities, including reconfiguring the way we work. It means we’ve been able to move the noisier elements of the processes into the same space, which is much better from a health and safety perspective.

"It has been incredible to have this support through the Towns Fund. Bradford Council walked us through the application and supported us every step of the way. It’s made a real difference to the business and will continue to do so for years to come."

Another recipient is print and direct mail business Fretwell Print and Design, of Goulbourne Street, Keighley.

It was awarded £19,989 towards replacing a printer.

Two new production operative roles were created.

Joint managing director Andy Gillett says: "We produce high-quality printed packaging, literature and direct mail products for many large blue-chip companies and organisations both here in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

"We used the Keighley Towns Fund grant to purchase a Kyocera four-colour inkjet machine, enabling us to increase productivity as well as saving time and resources.

"It’s an investment that means we will be able to grow our existing customer base and open up new markets, as the speed of service will make us even more competitive."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, says: "Grants ranging from £1,500 to £315,000 are still available for businesses within – or looking to move to – the Keighley and Shipley Towns Fund areas, and other businesses are invited to apply.

"It’s so positive to see how this funding is already making such a significant impact. It has directly translated into growth for the businesses which have received it so far and the welcome creation of new jobs for the area."

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