He added: "Over the past nine months since I was elected I have had continuing discussions with Bradford Council about extending schemes of rate relief.

"I have been particularly impressed by the scheme at North Parade in Bradford, where rate concessions have helped to regenerate what was a rundown area into a lively spot with bars and cafes.

"In Keighley town centre there are many empty buildings which need a new purpose. I am hoping that this new rate relief scheme will help bring back at least some of them into life."

Keighley councillor Adrian Farley, who chairs the council's regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee, said the programme represented a "win win" situation for the town.

"I have significant concern about the departure of M&S but this scheme should bring new investment," he said.

"It is a way of attracting new businesses to Keighley and increasing the footfall, providing an enhanced and balanced offer for shoppers and creating jobs.

"We don't have a huge number of empty units, but it will help eliminate some of those that are vacant."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw – portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport – said the programme was part of a raft of measures included in the new Bradford District Economic Growth strategy.

"The strategy outlines the key assets of our district, including our heritage buildings and towns like Keighley," he added.

"Our towns provide a distinctive offer for people considering investing or living here and we want to support that with the District Growth Scheme, which will help unlock our huge potential.

"It's our businesses and entrepreneurs who take the risks and make the investments but we can do our bit with schemes like this to lay the foundations for growth which investors can utilise."

For more details about the scheme, visit investinbradford.com, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01274 437727.