�14m boost for housing and regeneration in Leeds City Region


New housing and regeneration sites across the Leeds City Region are set to get underway after a £14m funding package was approved by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.

Work will start on site from April this year on six strategically important projects, including city centre regeneration creating new investment opportunities at One City Park in Bradford and Northgate House in Halifax, and the development of housing and employment sites in Leeds, York and Skipton.

The projects will be among the first to get underway as a result of funding secured through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, agreed between the government and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in July 2014. The projects are expected to create thousands of permanent jobs as well as temporary construction opportunities. They will also unlock more than £100m of private investment, provide new local housing, and bring currently derelict sites back into use.

Cllr David Green, Chair of the WYCA’s West Yorkshire & York Investment Committee and Leader of Bradford Council said:

“Since the Local Growth Fund was announced last summer we have worked hard to bring forward projects, so delivery can start in April.

“This £14m of Local Growth Funding investment will act as a real catalyst for strategically important schemes, resulting in thousands of new jobs and homes across the Leeds City Region. There are also benefits to be gained from planned West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund investment, improving links between homes and jobs and ensuring businesses are better connected.

“These funds will be repaid and will then be reinvested in future projects to support jobs and growth.

“This is precisely the kind of ambitious growth programme that the LEP and the Combined Authority have come together to make possible and to implement.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Deputy Chair of the WYCA’s West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee said: “I am delighted that approval has been granted for these first projects, secured as a result of our Growth Deal, to get underway from April.

“We have set out a powerful ambition of transforming the Leeds City Region into a net contributor to the national economy, and now it is time to turn that ambition into action. These projects will play a key role in unlocking economic growth by building close to 1,500 new homes to meet housing demand and regenerating our urban centres to attract investment and create good quality jobs.”

In Bradford Funding of £5.2m from the Local Growth Fund for One City Park will support the creation of 8,500 sq. m of new, high-quality office space through the demolition and redevelopment of the former Tyrls Police Station. This will continue the significant improvements to the city centre as well as attracting private sector investment and creating both construction and permanent jobs.

Cllr Green added: "The redevelopment of the former Tyrls police station will make a real difference to the city centre and provide a significant jobs boost both in terms of construction work and permanent jobs once the redevelopment is completed. It is a great location adjacent to our multi-award winning City Park and marks another major milestone in the regeneration of Bradford which is continuing apace with the Westfield development progressing well at the Broadway end of the city centre too."

Occupying a prominent position in Halifax town centre, Northgate House is available for redevelopment, following decisions made by Calderdale Council. A £1.3m Local Growth Fund package will pay for the clearance of the site, creating commercial opportunities and building upon the town’s strong financial and professional services sector.

Using £0.85m of Local Growth Fund monies to build a new canal bridge in Skipton will open up a large site at Horse Close and other nearby areas around 300 new homes and business developments. This will provide much needed opportunities for local people to access new homes to rent and buy at affordable prices as well as creating jobs.

Leader of Craven District Council, Cllr Richard Foster said: “This funding gives the Council the opportunity to facilitate the construction of a new bridge at Horse Close. A new bridge would improve access for existing homes in the area as well as providing the necessary infrastructure for the potential development of a large housing site in Skipton. “

Eight brownfield sites in East Leeds will be brought back into use for much needed housing development using £1.1m from the Local Growth Fund. A further £4m of the funding will be used at Red Hall, to relocate Council facilities, demolish redundant buildings and make way for the route of the new East Leeds Orbital Road, opening up land for new homes.

Building flood defences in York Central, will be made possible through the use of £1.65m of Local Growth Funding. This will be the start of the regeneration of 35 hectares of brownfield land. Road infrastructure for this important site will be made possible with £27m of West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund investment.

Cllr Dafydd Williams, Leader of City of York Council, said: “The development of York Central will grow the city’s economy, meet our long term office development needs and address our expanding population’s need for new homes. However, it’s crucial that these new homes and jobs are protected from the risk of flooding. The Local Growth Fund will help to ensure York Central and existing communities along Holgate Beck are protected, whilst providing a real boost to the progress we’ve made already in unlocking this key brownfield site."

Overall, Growth Deal for housing and regeneration is set to create around 3,500 construction and permanent jobs, 1,400 new homes and 40,000 sq m of new commercial office space – the equivalent of seven Wembley football pitches.