Robotics Institute announce levelling up funding

The University of Bradford is partnering with Keighley College and Bradford Council in creating an Advanced Institute for Robotics Engineering. 

The Institute, which will be based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, will benefit from a slice of £20m Levelling Up funding announced on Monday (20 November). 

It will be housed in a new, two-floor facility in the market town, which will accommodate up to 250 full time undergraduates and 40 postgraduate students in the study of robotics, advanced engineering, automation, artificial intelligence and computer science.

Students of all ages in technical education will benefit from the Institute, from secondary school-age to PhD, by offering clear progression pathways in a familiar, state-of-the-art centre of excellence.

The Institute will prepare students for a new wave of technology careers, such as roles within software, future mobility, electronics, data analytics, cyber security, automation and robotics. Data shows the University of Bradford has the most postgraduate enrolments in applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics in the UK. 

Vice-Chancellor Shirley Congdon welcomed the funding news, and said: “We are delighted to partner with Keighley College and Bradford Council on the creation of the Advanced Institute for Robotics Engineering and in supporting the town’s advanced manufacturing sector.

“Our partnership with the College will create opportunities for students and company employees based in Keighley to make a difference for themselves, for local firms and in advancing engineering around the world.” 

Bradford Council has been awarded £19,814,140 to deliver ambitions schemes in Keighley, as part of the Government’s Levelling Up funding. It includes research and development in the heart of Keighley, alongside improvements to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway to create a major transport hub and the industrial development of brownfield sites.

Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchliffe said: “This is excellent news for Keighley and the wider district in so many ways. The town has a proud engineering and manufacturing tradition. This is such an exciting project which will enhance Keighley’s engineering, manufacturing and economic role in the region, putting it at the forefront of UK innovation. 

“The funding we’ve secured with our bid will enhance skills and create more economic opportunities for Keighley and the wider area. I am delighted that the quality of the bid we submitted after working closely with our partners, has been recognised by the Government, as ‘impressive’, ‘high-quality’ and ‘ready-to- deliver.’ 

“It has been two years since the bid was initially submitted so we’ll now look at how we will deliver this project, given the changing context of time, and we will continue to work hard to maximise all investment to the district.”

Bradford Council worked closely with partners to secure the bid, Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Keighley College as part of the Luminate Education Group, and The University of Bradford.

Due to the timeframe since the bid’s initial submission, the project will undergo a validation check to ensure it will still benefit from Government funding, with delivery scheduled for 2026.

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