Economic and Transport Recovery

A more inclusive, resilient sustainable economy with more productive businesses, better levels of skills and entrepreneurialism, less inequality, and environmental sustainability.


To grow a more inclusive, resilient sustainable economy with a more productive businesses, better levels of skills and entrepreneurialism, less inequality, and environmental sustainability.

What success will look like

A recovery that produces resilient and thriving businesses, boosted innovation, high skills and entrepreneurialism.

A clean growth recovery that grasps the opportunity to deliver sustainability across all our places.

A recovery that delivers inclusive growth and a decent standard of living, where good work and wellbeing allow as many as possible to contribute to, and benefit from the region’s economy.

A bus network that forms a vital part of a fully functioning and thriving transport network.

A transport network that is safe and supports COVID control measures and which positively impacts on the health and wellbeing of residents through environmental and social inclusion.


  • UK’s largest regional finance centre, with strengths in professional and digital services.
  • More manufacturing jobs than anywhere in the north, with speciality in textiles, furniture, chemicals and machinery.
  • The fastest growing digital sector in the country, with areas of professional services seeing strong growth along with retail, hospitality and transport.
  • Recent positive changes in travel behaviour brought-on by the Covid-19 lockdown provide an opportunity to reimagine our neighbourhoods, towns and cities.


  • Although increasing in absolute terms, productivity is persistently below national levels at around 86% of the UK average, with implications for earnings and prosperity.
  • Labour market - Strong recent improvement but employment rates remain below UK levels, with disadvantaged groups most at risk of being out of work.
  • Jobs and wages - Higher level occupations have been the main source of job growth in recent years, but 21% of jobs pay less than the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage rate and 29% of employees are not in good quality work.
  • Deprivation - More than 1 in 5 people (517,000 people) live in areas defined as being amongst the most deprived 10% in England. Relative levels of deprivation in West Yorkshire have got worse between 2015 & 2019.

Policies and strategies

Who’s helping make this happen

The West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Board brings together civic and business leaders from across the region to lead West Yorkshire out of the pandemic. This includes:

  • West Yorkshire’s five Council leaders
  • The LEP
  • The region’s Chambers of Commerce
  • Confederation of British Industry
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Integrated Healthcare Partnership
  • West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Trade Unions
  • Universities
  • Community sector

What we are doing to make this happen

  • Covid-19 Business Grant Programme – The LEP is able to support businesses making capital investment to manufacture or supply products to the NHS and wider healthy supply chain.
  • The Employment Hub – The Employment Hub supports businesses find new employees through its talent matching services and offers support for employees who are at risk of or facing redundancy.
  • Manufacturing Recovery Plan – Developed by the University of Huddersfield in collaboration with the LEP, the scheme supports manufacturing SMEs across the region to recover and build long-term resilience.
  • Active Travel – We’ve secured funding to invest in active travel with our emergency active travel trance 1 funding of £2.5million, with the opportunity to bid for up to tranche 2 funding up to a possible £12.5million.

How this will meet our priorities

Boosting productivity

  • Creating goods jobs and resilient businesses is one of the three priorities of our recovery plans. This includes a recognition that productivity is the key long-term route to improved living standards. Subject to funding, the plans will support delivery of a Goof Work Standard focussing on positive employment and productivity, access to finance to grow jobs and productivity in growth sectors and support to build innovation driven start up and scale-up enterprises.

Tackling the climate emergency

  • Our recovery plans recognise that all elements of our recovery must make positive long-term contributions to tackling the climate emergency. Planned measures include accelerating a range of planned zero emission capital projects and the development of an initial zero-carbon pipeline and funding proposition including low carbon, energy, flooding and nature recovery projects. The Transport Recovery Plan will support a shift away from carbon-intensive travel to sustainable modes.

Enabling inclusive growth

  • We are determined that the interventions contained in our recovery plans make a positive impact in not just reducing, but eliminating, the unfairness individuals and communities in our region face in relation to the inclusive growth goals of wellbeing, connectivity and accessibility, relevant and transferable skills and good work.

Delivering 21st century transport

  • The priorities, projects and programmes contained within the Transport Recovery Plan aim to maintain and enhance the changes in travel choices seen under lockdown and support a shift away from carbon-intensive travel to sustainable modes.

Securing money and powers

  • Our recovery plans make a strong case for recovery efforts to be led locally if they are to be successful. The Economic Recovery Plan identifies four distinct contributions that West Yorkshire can make to the national recovery building on our own local strengths. These four propositions – health innovation, digital, entrepreneurs, and transition to net zero carbon – form an initial offer to drive recovery with a collective ask of £460 million. Likewise, the Transport Recovery Plan sets out specific funding and power asks of Government to support its delivery.

Page last updated: 26/08/20