Growth Minister visits Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone

Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone is gearing up to become one of the country’s premier locations for engineering and modern manufacturing companies thanks to millions of pounds of Government funding, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt has announced.

The Minister visited the business park today (Monday 8 December) to see how £8.57 million of Government investment is being used to improve infrastructure, unlock development and pave the way for thousands of new jobs for the region.

It comes just days after the Chancellor announced that up to £25 million would be spent upgrading nearby junction 45 of the M1, significantly improving access to the zone and providing a boost to the local construction sector.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Leeds Enterprise Zone is really starting to take shape and everything I’ve seen today tells me it’s going to be a great success. Companies can have every confidence that this is a world-class facility and we are investing millions to ensure they have infrastructure in place to grow their business. It’s all part of our long-term economic plan to create a northern powerhouse that drives forward local economies, create jobs and delivers real benefits to hard-working people.”

Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, the enterprise zone is already home to a number of well-established companies, including Roberts Mart, one of the UK’s largest packaging manufacturers, floor covering manufacturer Mercado and branded foods manufacturer Symington’s. Major developments include:

  • Newmarket Lane – construction is underway on a £150 million recycling and energy recovery facility operated by Veolia. Due for completion in 2016, the plant will be Europe’s largest timber-framed structure;
  • Thornes Farm – work is underway on two new industrial units, measuring 50,000 and 30,000 square foot, at Wilton Developments’ Connex 45 site. Work also commences early in the new year on a 50,000 square foot unit for packaging and distribution firm Samuel Grant Group. The unit is being built by CDP Ltd, which is also in negotiations with occupiers on two further development plots;
  • Logic Leeds - work on the first 80,000 square foot industrial unit is underway at this 110-acre manufacturing and distribution park where Muse Developments has planning permission for a total of 1.6 million square foot of employment space; and
  • Temple Green - infrastructure and ground remediation work is being carried out at the largest of the four sites where Aire Valley Land has planning permission for three million square foot of employment space. A new spine road will provide access to a series of development and buildings covering 500,000 square foot. Work will start on new park and ride facility with space for a 1,000 vehicles in April 2015.

The Government opened the zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies. Latest figures show they have created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said:

“There has been significant progress on the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone this year and I am pleased government has recognised the hard work and commitment from our public and private partners. We will continue to explore new opportunities for further development and promote the scale of opportunity this major investment location brings the City Region and the entire country.”

The Minister also visited Kirkgate Market where she met with local traders and saw the latest progress on the £12 million refurbishment of the facility.

Kirkgate is a firm supporter of the Love Your Local Market campaign, which aims to encourage more people to use their local markets and provide opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to take a first step on the retail ladder.