UKREiiF 2022

Join us on stand D2 and out why West Yorkshire is one of the UK’s most attractive locations for development and inward investment, and one of the best places to live and work in the country.

Programme

With a population of 2.3 million people, a workforce of 1.1 million people and over 80,000 businesses, our £57.9 billion regional economy is larger than nine EU countries.

Our economy is predicted to grow by 8.3% over the next five years, making Leeds one of the UK's fastest-growing cities and a leading business location in Europe, while Bradford has the youngest population in the UK..

We have significant strengths in healthcare and life sciences, digital, creative and media, business professional and financial services, and advanced manufacturing.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

With the Mayor of West Yorkshire as its directly-elected chair, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority brings together the local authorities of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, working in partnership with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the City of York.

Map of West Yorkshire showing the districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield

Together, we are working hard to make our region recognised globally as a place with a strong, successful economy where everyone can build great businesses, careers and lives supported by a sustainable environment and world-class infrastructure.

We put the long term needs of our communities and the people who live and work in West Yorkshire at the heart of everything we do, ensuing we can support inclusive growth and the needs of our region's employers, as well as working closely with West Yorkshire’s bus operators to improve services and public transport.

Get the facts

Real time insights and material that businesses will find useful to base their investment decisions on and will help investors recognise the true potential of our fantastic region.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire

In May 2021 Tracy Brabin was elected Mayor of West Yorkshire, to help make our region an even better place to live, work, visit and do business by fulfilling her 10 pledges around jobs, skills, the economic recovery, transport, homes, tackling the climate emergency and safety. 

Her election is bringing £1.8 billion of spending under local control as part of the UK's largest regional devolution deal of its kind. It means that decisions currently taken in London will be taken in West Yorkshire, by people who know and understand our region.

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Transport

West Yorkshire’s central location coupled with its international airport, road and rail links offer a well-connected platform for global businesses. Frequent, high speed train services mean London is only two hours away, while regular flights from Leeds-Bradford airport London Heathrow take under an hour. 

Some of the country’s highest-capacity strategic motorways and arterial roads also converge here, like the M62, connecting the east and west coasts of Northern England, and the M1 and A1(M) between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. West Yorkshire has excellent road and rail freight distribution networks to Europe and the rest of the country. 

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Housing and infrastructure

Across West Yorkshire, we are engaged in an ambitious programme of coordinated infrastructure investment to ensure that the benefits of economic growth and prosperity are felt by all of our diverse communities. 

We are supporting new housing, improving environmental resilience and encouraging the take-up of clean sources of energy. In doing so we will enable our communities to be resilient to future social, technological, economic and climate changes, making them good places to live and work.

Partner organisations and institutions are also investing across the region, with new and upgraded hospitals and healthcare projects, alongside enhanced facilities at many of our universities and places of learning. 

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Partner projects  

Development Priorities

Spatial Priority Areas 

Our Spatial Priority Areas (SPAs) are the largest and or most strategic growth opportunities within West Yorkshire requiring coordinated infrastructure investment. There are 4 categories of SPA, Urban Centres, Investment Locations, Environmental Opportunity and Future Growth Locations. The SPAs have been developed and are to be actively managed to ensure that: 

  • We are doing all we can to bring forward the 60,000 extant housing permissions across West Yorkshire in the context of high demand for homes. 
  • We are doing all we can to support jobs growth by better understanding local supply and demand for strategic employment land. 
  • We are raising the profile of those areas in our city region with critical infrastructure and economic resilience challenges. 
  • We are prioritising development in locations served by sustainable transport networks. 

Examples 

Brighouse Garden Village (Calderdale) – This SPA includes two major Garden Suburb proposals at Thornhills (Brighouse) and Woodhouse (Rastrick) that combined will provide upwards of 2,000 new homes. Neighbouring the Garden Suburbs, the 25 ha Clifton Enterprise Zone site will deliver approx. 0.5 million sq/ft of new business floorspace providing in turn, an estimated 1,300 quality, new jobs. 

Bradford City Centre - The SPA covers the entirety of Bradford City Centre, and an expansion area to the south-east referred to as the ‘Southern Gateway’. The Council is proposing substantial levels of new housing growth within an area of relatively low population, which will require the creation of new housing markets. The Southern Gateway proposals will see the transformation of commercial and industrial land, with the delivery of new residential accommodation.  

Chidswell (Kirklees) - The 120 ha Chidswell SPA presents a sustainable and substantial opportunity for new development in the Kirklees Local Plan. It has the potential to accommodate over 1,500 dwellings, employment development (indicative capacity of 122,500 sqm), a primary school, green spaces 

Leeds City Centre -  This 400 ha SPA covers the Leeds City Centre and is the region’s major financial and commercial hub. The City Centre has seen substantial development over the last decade. There are plans to bring significant parcels of vacant and underused brownfield land forward, particularly to the south of the river (The South Bank), to the east of Marsh Lane and along Wellington Street and Whitehall Road corridors to the west.  

Castleford Growth Zone (Wakefield) - Transformation of 230 hectares of former industrial brownfield land in the Northeast of Castleford – employment and housing opportunities. The Castleford Growth Corridor Scheme will reduce congestion and improve accessibility. This scheme aims to construct a new link road and footbridge across the River Aire from Lock Lane to Wheldon Road, improving the highway and reducing congestion. Flood mitigation measures will also be installed, and pedestrian crossing facilities will be improved. A cycle lane will also be added to improve accessibility for cycle users along Aire Street and Wheldon Road. 

 

Net Zero

West Yorkshire has declared a climate and environment emergency and set the ambitious target of transitioning to a carbon net zero economy by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress by 2030.

To meet this goal, and ensure everyone can enjoy the economic, health and environmental benefits of a net zero carbon economy, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, has launched the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan.

It sets out how we can:

  • Make public and private transport greener and cleaner with more using electric and hydrogen powered vehicles while also making it easier for people to leave their cars at home by improving ways to walk and cycle
  • Create new green jobs, training and opportunities for young people and those changing careers, and support businesses to become more energy efficient
  • Work with our partners to deliver warm, energy efficient, affordable homes for the people of West Yorkshire and invest in new flood alleviation schemes to protect more homes and businesses
  • Make it easier for people to access green spaces and work to improve biodiversity and natural landscapes
  • Create more local, clean and renewable energy to power buildings, industry and transport

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Culture

West Yorkshire is blessed with a rich and varied culture offer. We are home to major festivals and seasons including Leeds 2023 Year of Culture, Kirklees Year of Music 2023, and Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture bid, as well as internationally renowned arts centres of excellence like the Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Channel 4 and a wide array of independent production companies recognise the region’s talent and have recently located operations here. We are also home to thriving grass-roots sports initiatives, with community inclusion at their heart.

The Mayor’s Culture Framework and Creative New Deal set out an ambitious programme of investment, support and brokerage around four key themes: Culture and Sport for Everyone, Place, Skills, and Business Support.

Together, these interventions grow and sustain our culture and sport sectors, enrich the lives of our communities, and make West Yorkshire a great place to do business.

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Partner projects

Quality of life

More than just a vibrant economy, West Yorkshire is one of the UK’s most diverse areas, home to over 170 ethnic groups with over 104 languages spoken and one in six people identifying with being an ethnic minority.

Our region is a modern and inspiring place to live, work and settle down.

We have a rich cultural heritage, some of the most stunning countryside in the country and contemporary urban developments, all within easy reach of our growing cities and industrial centres.

West Yorkshire is regularly voted among the happiest and best places to live in the UK. We boast a packed arts and cultural calendar, with internationally renowned theatre, ballet, opera and festivals alongside Leeds 2023 Year of Culture and Bradford 2025 bid for UK City of Culture.

This is in addition to our world-famous sports, a thriving food scene and retail offer mixing high-end boutiques, high street stores and quirky, independent retailers.

From house prices to public transport, West Yorkshire offers the range and choices you would expect from a major region, at a lower cost. 

Our partners

We work with partners from the local authorities of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and beyond to deliver regeneration and economic development, and co-ordinate the long-term programmes that will transform West Yorkshire.

Bradford

Calderdale

At the crossroads between Yorkshire and Lancashire, nestled in what is described as the cradle of the industrial revolution, Calderdale’s diverse communities and distinctive towns and villages benefit from beautiful natural landscapes and good connections to the major cities of Leeds, Bradford and Manchester and the M62.

Calderdale’s ‘Next Chapter’ portfolio of projects and capital schemes also help provide a platform from which business can grow and flourish.

Kirklees

Leeds

Wakefield

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

The LEP works with partners across the public and private sectors with the goal of stimulating growth to unlock Leeds City Region’s vast economic potential. It develops strategy and policy aimed at meeting both the current and the future needs of the region's economy and also delivers projects that support businesses and accelerate growth.

How Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership can help you

With access to hard economic facts, case studies from leading companies and business support packages available, find out how we can help you make the case for investing in Leeds City Region. Contact our experts for more information. All of our services are complementary, confidential and tailored to your needs.