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Bradford Council plans advanced robotics centre for city


Keighley College and Bradford University Advanced Manufacturing Hubs will be reconfigured into a hi-tech robotics facility under the latest bid for levelling up funds submitted by Bradford Council.

If successful, the council intends to renew and expand the sites to include a high tech facility supporting research and development in emerging technologies such as advanced robotics.

The government’s levelling-up fund allows every constituency in the country to bid for funding of up to £20m for wellbeing, transport, regeneration or culture projects. Last year the first bid made by Bradford Council – for a new leisure and wellbeing centre on Squire Lane in Bradford West – had been awarded £20m.

The council has now submitted bids for the four remaining constituencies which are eligible for funding. Further bids would see Bingley Pool transformed into “an attractive, modern new leisure facility with six lane swimming pool, gym, studio and café” and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – a popular heritage attraction – turned into “an enhanced rail transport hub offering workers a fast and efficient commute into the area”. The line is currently only used as a tourist attraction, but the successful bid would see commuter trains using the line, which has stations in Oxenhope, Haworth, Oakworth and Cullingworth.

Perhaps even more ambitious than the planned robotics centre is the council’s plan to turn Odsal stadium into “a national home for Rugby League” which would also act as an “art, culture and entertainment stadium.”

The facility would include a roof, which the council says will create a “world-class, high capacity sports, entertainment and training complex” that could help Bradford Bulls return to the Super League. It would also allow Bradford to “stage high volume arts and entertainment events.”

The redevelopment would mark would make a major comeback for the stadium, which Bradford Bulls were forced to sell to the RFL in 2012 due to the financial difficulties that ultimately led to the club’s liquidation in 2017.

A reborn Bradford Bulls under new ownership then moved into the stadium, but again left in 2019 due to the high running costs, opting for a ground share with Dewsbury instead. The club did return again last year, though the council’s plans would give the stadium’s future a degree of certainty it has lacked for years.


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