ILKLEY Business Improvement District is set to receive a grant of up to £320,000 to help the town centre recover following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The money is part of £1.28 million in Covid-19 grants being provided by Bradford Council to local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

It’s expected the Additional Restrictions Grant funding will be spent on a range of programmes designed to support local businesses, drive footfall and improve the vibrancy of local town centres and Bradford city centre.

The Bradford BID will receive instalments of up to a maximum of £603,000 with the Ilkley BID being offered up to £320,000 and the Keighley BID having a maximum of £362,000.

The allocations are based on proposals put forward by each BID and the programmes of support needed for the number of businesses in each area.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, at Bradford Council said: “We have been working very hard to do everything we can to help local firms, protect jobs and support economic growth.

“This latest initiative will allow the Business Improvement Districts to tailor support to best match local needs and we are investigating options for supporting firms in smaller towns and villages across the district.”

In Ilkley the money will be spent on providing a public Wi-Fi network and augmented reality trails.

Geraldine Thompson, manager of Ilkley BID, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant which will help us support Ilkley businesses to recover from the adverse impacts of the pandemic and resulting restrictions.

“We are digitalising Ilkley town centre to provide a strong marketing platform for businesses and encouraging footfall through innovative augmented reality trails, and a public Wi-Fi network makes all this possible.”

Bradford BID Manager, Jonny Noble said: “The offer of extra support for city centre businesses under the Government’s ARG scheme is very welcome and we are pleased to be working closely with the Council to try to use as much as possible of the proffered funding, in the timescale available, on schemes to help the recovery. Bradford businesses, like many others around the country, were hit hard by the pandemic and this will enable us to expand our levy-payer funded work to smarten up the city centre and bring in more customers and visitors to help it thrive again.”

Simon Blondel, Chair of the Keighley BID, said: “This funding will allow us to do some very targeted work to assist the Keighley town centre to grow back after what has been a very difficult time.”

So far, Bradford Council has delivered over £222million in Covid-19 grants to businesses impacted by the restrictions.