Growth Deal signed
Country's largest Growth Deal signed for Leeds City Region
West Yorkshire Combined Authority leaders have met with the Deputy Prime Minister to officially sign the Leeds City Region Growth Deal today
Announced in July, the Growth Deal is the country's largest, bringing £1bn of investment into the Leeds City Region. It will support the Combined Authority and LEP's joint priorities of improving local transport links, accelerating housing growth and town centre regeneration, developing a skilled and flexible workforce, supporting growing businesses and build a resource efficient City Region.
Signing the Growth Deal commits the government to devolving £573 million to the Combined Authority and the LEP and from April 2015. This money will be used to fund a range of projects and programmes designed to contribute to an overall ambition of unlocking the City Region's potential to be the growth engine for the north and rebalancing the nation's economy.
Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Nick Clegg MP said, "I'm delighted to be signing such a significant Growth Deal to Leeds City Region today. (It) is a fitting kick-start to a day of debate and discussion about how we support the economy in the North. By 2021, this Deal will create at least 8,000 jobs and allow 1,000 homes to be built."
Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) said, "Gaining the country's largest Growth Deal outside London, and the £1bn Transport Fund, shows the Government agrees that we have the ambition, the structure and the local expertise to deliver transformational economic growth, new jobs, more houses and a better transport network.
"This Deal has been the result of a lot of hard work with our LEP partners and, as today's Northern Futures event shows, represents the beginning of a gathering national momentum to devolve budgets and powers into local hands, where they have been show to make a real difference."
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said, "This is an historic moment for the Leeds City Region as we officially confirm transformational devolved funding for our businesses and residents. These new powers and pounds will create tens of thousands of new jobs and accelerate economic growth across the entire City Region.
"The signing of this deal confirms the trust that Government has in our region and enables decisions to be taken by the people who understand our challenges and opportunities. The LEP is ready to seize this opportunity and ensure that good growth is felt by all who live and work in the Leeds City Region."
Leeds City Council Leader and WYCA member Cllr Keith Wakefield added: "This landmark deal is testimony to the strength of partnership between the Combined Authority and the LEP.
"It paves the way for us to develop the investment, infrastructure, housing, training, skills and jobs we need to improve people's lives and for the economy of the Leeds City Region to start the process of fully realising its immense potential."
By 2021, the Growth Deal will bring;
- at least 8,000 jobs;
- up to 1,000 homes;
- at least £340million investment in the Leeds City Region economy from public and private partners;
to the Leeds City Region.
Alongside this Growth Deal funding is a further £420m of devolved funding for the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund. This will make possible a £1bn programme of investment in the local transport network over the next 20 years, creating further new jobs and improving connectivity for local residents and businesses.
Other key areas of investment include strategic housing and development projects in Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, York, Halifax, and Skipton to create good quality, affordable homes. Further investment in LEP's highly successful grant funding programme, which has already provided over 300 local businesses with the finance they need to invest, expand and create over 3,000 jobs; Funding for further education colleges and training providers that will support engineers, manufacturers and other sectors and ensure a world-class learning environment for young people
And investment to create a resource efficient City Region, including a business support programme to help SMEs reduce energy costs and increase productivity and BioVale, a bio-waste innovation cluster in York supporting firms to develop commercially viable biotechnology.