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Investment Committee backs almost £9m of funding for local schemes

West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee today backed almost £9m of funding to progress local transport, housing, clean energy and business growth projects.

Funded through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal and West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund, the projects backed at today’s meeting will support residents and businesses from across the City Region.
Total spending on these projects will reach £106.567m, £54.824m of which will be funded by the Combined Authority with the rest from other public and private investment.

Schemes supported by the Investment Committee today include:

A total of £570,000 to progress highway improvements to the A629 Halifax to Huddersfield. This is part of a £120.6m scheme designed to improve journey times and public transport use on the A629 by improving junctions as well as transforming Halifax town centre. Funding approved today will be used to examine improvements to the congestion hotspot at Ainley Top.

£317,000 to progress works at Castleford Railway Station, which, when complete, will include a new, high quality waiting area, kiosk space and sheltered cycle parking, better pedestrian links to the town centre and bus station and improved access for taxis, buses and cars. It is hoped the project will create a public transport ‘hub’ alongside the £6m Castleford Bus Station with funding backed today part of a £4.511m redevelopment project.

£180,000 to progress the innovative Energy Accelerator programme that will provide specialist advice to firms looking to develop low carbon projects. Once up and running, it is forecasted the programme will encourage £100m of capital investment into low carbon projects across the City Region, boosting employment and reducing the local carbon footprint. Investment backed today will enable the scheme to progress and fund existing development costs.

A total of £4m for the Leeds District Heat Network that will provide reduced cost heating to social housing and businesses north of Leeds city centre. The district heat network will work by transferring heat created at the Aire Valley Recovery and Recycling Facility to homes in Leeds through 4.5km of super-insulated pipes. The £4m Local Growth Deal funding backed today will support the scheme to move into the construction phase and will be returned to the Combined Authority to reinvest in other schemes if the Leeds District Heat Network makes an operating profit over its 25-year lifetime.

£3.6m to progress the development of the New Bolton Woods sustainable urban village that will deliver 1,000 new homes in the Bradford Shipley Canal Road Corridor regeneration area. The funding supported today will help prepare land for use.

Backing was also given to advance the redevelopment of Beech Hill, west of Halifax – a project that will see the demolition of three high-rise tower blocks and development of new housing to drive regeneration and improve quality of life in the area – as well as two business support programmes:
  • The Access Innovation Programme, designed to support innovation by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Leeds City Region, and:
  • Strategic Business Growth Programme that will offer integrated support SMEs looking to grow.
Cllr Peter Box, Investment Committee Chair and Leader of Wakefield Council, said:

“By backing £9m of investment to progress key transport, housing, clean energy and business growth projects today, West Yorkshire Combined Authority is demonstrating its commitment to not only grow the local economy but also improve the day-to-day lives of the three million people who call our City Region their home.

“Inclusive growth is central to how we invest our Growth Deal and West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund across the City Region. Schemes backed today will tackle the very real issue of fuel poverty, help people get to work, education, training and leisure opportunities more easily and regenerate key areas of land that are currently under-used.

“Alongside our support to boost business growth, innovation and inward investment, the Committee’s backing shows we are building a City Region that also works for local people.”

Four schemes approved since the last Investment Committee meeting were also noted today. These include £626,000 of funding to progress plans that increase parking at Hebden Bridge Rail Park & Ride. It is forecasted this will ultimately boost transport use and reduce on-street parking in Hebden Bridge.

Further endorsement was given to an £800,000 Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Loan from the Growing Places Loan fund to support milk processing company Fresh Pastures to fit out new facilities. Support was also given to a £12.45m inward investment grant scheme to support private investment in the City Region and the LEP’s Business Growth programme.

A full Investment Committee agenda can be read online.
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