Regeneration and Housing projects progressed by Investment Committee

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee - Regeneration and Housing Projects progressed

West Yorkshire Combined Authority�s (WYCA) Investment Committee has recommended funding for regeneration and housing projects in Barnsley and Leeds. The Committee has also recommended that schemes in Kirklees and Normanton are progressed to the next stage of the appraisal system.

Plans for the schemes, designed to generate new jobs and affordable housing, have been drawn up as part of the Local Growth Deal secured for the Leeds City Region. Funding was recommended by the Committee for the proposed Barnsley Town Centre Redevelopment project, which centres around re-generating the old market at the heart of the town centre. The development will result in a mix of new retail, leisure and community facilities, create an additional 651 long term jobs and help safeguard 690 existing ones. It will also provide over 1,600 construction jobs.

The Growth Fund allocation of �1.76m in 2015-16 would make possible demolition work and construction of the footbridge in support of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council�s �93.4m development.

Accelerating a �1.1m Growth Fund loan to Leeds Council to speed up the building of 280 new homes on brownfield sites in the East of the city and make the project more cost-effective, was also recommended.

All Leeds City Region Growth Fund schemes are subject to the Single Appraisal Framework. The Framework ensure schemes are appraised consistently against agreed criteria with schemes having to pass through a series of successively more detailed �gateway approvals� to ensure that all investments represent value for money and will create the jobs, housing and economic growth that is the ultimate aim of the Growth Fund .

The Investment Committee also recommended that full business cases be prepared for two schemes: one that would see over 600 new homes built and almost 550 temporary construction jobs created in Kirklees and another in Normanton which would result in 90 new homes, 200 new jobs and over 250 temporary construction jobs.

WYCA Investment Committee Chair and Bradford Council Leader Cllr David Green said:

�These projects support the creation of permanent and temporary jobs and the building of new homes which are key elements of the Combined Authority�s ambition to raise the quality of life in our region by delivering good employment opportunities and decent affordable housing.�

Yesterday�s WYCA Investment Committee meeting also heard that thanks to constructive talks between West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and BT, more superfast broadband could be rolled out across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York. The meeting heard that negotiations to provide high-speed Internet access to businesses and homes in areas where it is currently unavailable are progressing with an agreement to extend the roll-out.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the LEP and Deputy Chair of WYCA Investment Committee commented:

�Connectivity is the lynchpin of our economic plan for the Leeds City Region and ensuring our digital infrastructure is accessible to more businesses and residents is essential to the success of our long term growth.

�This is a positive step in extending the successful broadband programme already delivering across West Yorkshire and will further support businesses to get online, explore new markets and accelerate their activity.�

Cllr David Green added:

�I am delighted that by working closely with BT, we are finding ways to overcome pervious obstacles and now have plans to widen crucial high-speed Internet access to many more households and businesses.

�Along with physical transport infrastructure, high-speed broadband is vital in providing the links businesses need to achieve growth and create new jobs and also for individuals to make the most of learning and skills opportunities through good links at home.��