Our vision for West Yorkshire is to be recognised globally as a great place to live with a strong, successful economy where everyone can build businesses, careers and lives supported by a superb environment and world-class infrastructure.
West Yorkshire is one of the best places to live in the country and an essential part of the Northern Powerhouse. Our region is home to over 2.3 million people, a workforce of 1.1 million people and over 90,000 businesses living and working across the local authority areas of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. With an economy larger than that of several European countries, a mixture of vibrant towns and cities set amongst some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country and a thriving cultural life, West Yorkshire is a place that many are proud to call home.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership bring together local councils and businesses to work together on issues that cross local authority boundaries and affect us all.
This includes leading the fight in tackling climate change, developing a modern transport system and attracting jobs and investment to the region. It allows us to speak with one voice when we work with government to secure greater influence and funding over the issues that matter to us the most.
It also means we can engage meaningfully with people and consider the effects of our actions across the wider area that people live and work in, both urban and rural. The Combined Authority allows us to work together at a level that is “close enough for community dialogue, yet large enough to achieve transformative collaboration".
West Yorkshire in the decade ahead
We are now embarking on the next stage of transformation in the region. In March 2020 we agreed our first devolution deal with government, granting us greater influence over investment in skills, transport, housing and business support. It will also give us local control over at least £1.8 billion to spend on the things that matter to the people of West Yorkshire.
In May 2021 residents will elect the first West Yorkshire Mayor. The Mayor will chair the Combined Authority and become a new figurehead for the region, championing it with Government and the rest of the world. Most importantly the mayor will ensure that the Combined Authority is directly accountable to the people whose decisions it affects the most and will ensure that the priorities of residents are reflected in the decisions we make.
As we embark on the next stage of transformation in the region, we will ensure that all of our policies and investment decisions meet at least one of our five priorities. The successful implementation of the Strategic Economic Framework over the course of the next decade will ensure that our vision for West Yorkshire becomes a reality for more and more people.
It will mean that businesses in the region have proven their resilience to the challenges they currently face and are driving economic growth and closing the productivity gap. More and more people will feel the benefit of this economic growth across all parts of our region, and inequalities in income, opportunity and quality of life will be reduced.
This growth however will not have come at the expense of our environment as we will have made significant progress in reducing carbon emissions. This will all be supported by a modernised transport network, with more journeys made by public transport, walking and cycling. West Yorkshire will have secured more powers and funding freedoms from government and will be leading this transformation itself.
By the end of the decade West Yorkshire will be increasingly recognised globally as a great place with a strong, successful economy where everyone can build great businesses, careers and lives supported by a superb environment and world-class infrastructure.