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Boost for Keighley business with grant from Towns Fund

Finance, sales and technical director Natalie Madgett, Founder and CEO Graham Bruce, and Alexandra Richardson, Production Director at the Keighley and Airedale Business Awards.

A specialist business importing Madagascan vanilla based in Keighley has expanded its premises and created three new jobs thanks to a £24,400 grant from the Keighley Towns Fund.

Former chef Graham Bruce founded Vanilla Etc in 2011, after finding it difficult to source high-quality vanilla products in the UK.

The business, based at Oakwood Business Park, Royd Way, currently has six employees, importing Madagascan vanilla, supplying gourmet vanilla beans, powder, seeds and manufacturing vanilla bean paste and vanilla extracts in various strengths.

With the Government-funded grant from the Keighley Towns Fund, the business has purchased equipment which enables them to mill the vanilla beans into powder on site. They have also extended their business premises, by leasing the adjacent unit and fitting it out, including building a new mezzanine floor.

Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Transport and Planning Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw said: “The Council’s Economic Development Service have provided assistance with the business development of Vanilla Etc including the recruitment of new staff to facilitate future business growth. We are delighted to support Keighley’s thriving business community.”

Acting Chair of the Keighley Towns Fund Liz Barker added: “The Keighley Towns Fund is proud to support such a unique and growing Keighley business, with money from the Capital Assistance to Business Growth programme. There is more funding available for other businesses in the area to apply so we’d encourage people to contact us if they think they might benefit.”

Finance Sales and Technical Director Natalie Madgett said: “Thanks to the invaluable support of the Council’s growth manager, Vanilla Etc Ltd accessed the Keighley Towns Fund Grant, propelling our business expansion plans forward.

“With the grant's assistance, we've expanded our manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for our Madagascan Vanilla products, resulting in the creation of three new jobs. We're committed to contributing to the community, fostering employment opportunities, and showcasing Keighley as a place we're proud to call home."

The Towns Fund Capital Assistance to Business Growth Programme Funding is available up to March 2026. For an Expression of Interest form or for further information and eligibility criteria, visit:https://www.investinbradford.com/business-support/keighley-and-shipley-towns-fund/  or email info@investinbradford.com

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