Combined Authority to benefit from new partnership programme with National Infrastructure Commission
14 December 2018
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair has welcome the announcement of a new partnership with the National Infrastructure Commission.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority is among five cities and city regions selected to work with the Commission to develop long-term strategies bringing together transport improvements, delivering new homes and creating job opportunities, under the new partnership programme launched today.
Cllr Hinchcliffe said: "It's extremely positive news that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is among the few metropolitan areas across the country that has been chosen as a case study for the National Infrastructure Commission's programme.
"Last month I had the opportunity to welcome Sir John Armitt and NIC colleagues to West Yorkshire for a meaningful discussion about our requirements and plans for infrastructure across the Leeds City Region, as well as setting out detail of our investment priorities."
Under the new programme, the National Infrastructure Commission will support the Combined Authority in develop long-term strategies bringing together transport improvements, delivering new homes and creating job opportunities.
Cllr Hinchcliffe added: "We have a £1 billion programme of transport network improvements schemes underway across West Yorkshire and the wider Leeds City Region, designed to create opportunities for new jobs and housing and to prepare for the arrival of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail with stops in Bradford City Centre, Leeds and York."
"This new partnership will enable us to combine our local knowledge and expertise of developing an integrated programme of strategic infrastructure projects with the Commission's expert advice, to maximise the effectiveness of our investment, and to share our valuable experience with other towns and cities."
Thrive and prosper
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said: "We want cities across Yorkshire, and the country as a whole, to thrive and prosper. But their efforts will be stymied by poor public transport and traffic congestion."
"Our partnership programme will help the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and four other chosen cities as they design plans to improve local transport, which in turn will demonstrate the real benefits that devolving funding for the long term will bring. The Combined Authority will have access to advice and support from Commission officials, challenge panel sessions to test their strategy, and access to mentoring and guidance from other cities and leading experts including the Centre for Cities."
As part of the new initiative, West Yorkshire will also become a case study to demonstrate what cities across the country can do in this area, and of the difference that long-term funding certainty, recommended by the Commission in the UK's first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment, can make.
In addition, all 45 of England's largest cities will also have the chance to share information and expertise through a series of events that will take place across the country in the New Year, hosted by the National Infrastructure Commission, one of which will be in York.
Commissioner Bridget Rosewell OBE said: "Local leaders know the needs of their communities better than anyone. That's why I'm pleased that cities across Yorkshire will be working with us next year, to share their knowledge and experiences."
"We hope this exciting work will provide cities from Hull to Sheffield with the tools they need to successfully prepare for the future."
Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said: "Cities are where the national economy happens. We have long argued for places up and down the country to have more certainty and long-term funding to invest in infrastructure, as the NIA rightly recommends. That is why we are delighted to be part of the commission's initiative, to offer cities extra support and advice, and to share the lessons of this work with places more widely."
"Established in 2015, the National Infrastructure Commission is an independent body tasked with providing clear advice to the Government on how best to meet the country's long-term infrastructure needs."
"In its National Infrastructure Assessment - the first of its kind for the UK - the Commission recommends that Ministers provide new powers and £43 billion funding on top of current spending levels between now and 2040 to city leaders including Metro Mayors, to develop long-term strategies for improving transport links. The Assessment also highlights the need for these strategies to be unlocking job opportunities and delivering much-needed new homes."