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Combined Authority on target for over £100m investment in economy-boosting schemes by April 2018

Young worker(3)Over £27m of Leeds City Region Growth Deal funding for investment in schemes that will result in economic growth, new jobs, skills training, new housing and transport improvement have been approved by West Yorkshire Combined Authority since April 2017.

Combined Authority Investment Committee members welcomed a report to their meeting today, which highlighted that by September, £5.7m had been committed to supporting City Region businesses, particularly SMEs. Over £11m is being invested in schemes to improve transport and ease congestion and £8.5m is being spent on improving colleges through its Skills Capital Budget. Around £2m is being spent on developing housing and environmental measure such as tackling heating poverty.

Enterprise Zone programme

At today’s meeting, Committee members also backed proposals to invest almost £35m in a City Region Enterprise Zone programme and the East Leeds Outer Ring Road.

Developing the existing Leeds Aire Valley Enterprise Zone, and the M62 Corridor Enterprise Zones, consisting of 230 hectares of employment land at a number of West Yorkshire sites, is forecast to create over 15,000 jobs and approaching £5bn of GVA by 2025. Proposed locations in this £20m initiative include Gain Lane and Parry Lane in Bradford, Calderdale’s Clifton Business Park and the Wakefield District’s South Kirkby Business Park. 

As well as significantly enhancing connectivity, reducing the cost of congestion and improving air quality and safety, the new 7km East Leeds Orbital Road scheme will unlock land with the potential for building of 5,500 new homes. The Combined Authority’s Investment Committee is being asked to back a £14m programme of junction improvements along the route.

Vital schemes

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee Chair Cllr Peter Box said: “This Growth Deal investment represents the injection of much-needed cash into vital schemes that will generate growth in our economy, new jobs and access to skills and training, the development of new and affordable housing and improvements to transport.

“The £35m of major schemes, to develop Enterprise Zones across the City Region and continue the development of the East Leeds Orbital Road we have backed today are two great examples of what we can accomplish.”

By the end of March 2018, the Investment Committee report forecasts that the Combined Authority and LEP will have invested over £95m of Growth Deal funding since April in these and other areas, which will surpass 2016/17’s £84m and 2015/2016’s £38.3m.

Striking figures

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said: “These striking figures, representing over £218m of investment in around 75 schemes have been designed to generate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region.

“It shows just how much we are achieving with the money we have. This ability to invest huge amounts in schemes that will transform and accelerate the creation of business growth, job creation and housing construction, is precisely why the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and LEP exist.”

Projects have been completed at Leeds Printworks and Bradford, Selby and Wakefield Colleges. Wakefield Eastern Relief Road, Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds, Leeds and Skipton Flood Relief projects and enhanced and expanded parking at South Elmsall rail station are also complete.

Schemes that are underway include extensions to Hebden Bridge and Fitzwilliam Station car parks, as part of the Rail Station enhancement park and ride programme, and the new Leeds College of Building. Work is underway on the East Leeds Housing Growth scheme, York Guildhall and York Central and the Strategic Inward Investment Fund, Digital Sector Soft Landing Scheme and Business Growth Programme have been launched.

Link to the papers for the Investment Committee meeting (opens in new tab).
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