Bid for extra �109m Growth Deal funding to boost jobs and growth
The LEP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority are bidding for an additional £109m from the third round of the government’s Growth Deals funding programme to boost jobs and economic growth in the City Region.
This additional funding has the potential to create up to 10,000 extra jobs in the region, as well as safeguard a further 10,000 jobs in areas at risk of flooding and unlock land to build over 300 new homes.
A key aim of the Growth Deal round three bid is to bring forward key development sites for employment and business growth including the North Kirklees Growth Zone, Enterprise Zone sites in Bradford, Calderdale (Clifton), Kirklees (Lindley Moore and Mirfield), Leeds and Wakefield, and Leeds South Bank – the location of the future “Yorkshire Hub” HS2 station. Other proposals focus on securing additional, targeted investment for flood defences, broadband upgrades and innovation in low carbon energy technologies, alongside measures to increase inward investment, innovation and skills development through capital grants for businesses in priority sectors such as manufacturing and digital.
The LEP secured over £1 billion of funding in the first two rounds of Growth Deal bidding and, with the Combined Authority, has now embarked on a six-year investment programme to deliver local transport improvements, housing and regeneration schemes, business growth and skills programmes.
In the first year of Growth Deal delivery, close to £40m has been committed to projects including business grant programmes that have supported 200 small and medium-sized enterprises and is expected to create 3,300 new jobs; a business flood recovery fund that has provided £1.4m capital funding for firms whose plant, machinery or premises were damaged in the Christmas 2015 floods; 10 further education (FE) projects worth a total of £66.5m; and the £35m Wakefield Eastern Relief Road Scheme, set for completion later this year, which will ease congestion while opening up land for housing.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, said:
“Through our existing Growth Deal and other devolved investment we’ve secured in recent years, government has shown confidence in Leeds City Region’s ability to play a leading role in driving northern and national growth.
“We have a long-term Strategic Economic Plan for our City Region and are already on course to create thousands of new jobs and add billions of pounds to the region’s economy. But as I’ve said before, this is not job done but job well begun. Now we’re calling on government to match the full extent of our ambition by devolving further powers and funding to our City Region, moving us closer to our goal of becoming an overall contributor to UK growth and enabling everyone who lives and works here to feel the benefits of a strong and successful economy.”
Funding to deliver major local transport schemes such as North Kirklees Orbital Road - linking junction 25 of the M62 to junction 40 of the M1 - forms part of a separate bid by the Combined Authority and LEP. It was approved by the Combined Authority and is being submitted to government today.
In addition to the North Kirklees Orbital Road, the LEP has agreed to endorse a bid being submitted by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding local enterprise partnership for £141m to increase the capacity of York’s Northern Outer Ring Road to dual carriageway standard and open up further land to support housing and employment growth in the City Region.