Schemes totalling more than £140 million, which will help bolster the region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, have moved a step closer, following a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.
From two new rail stations to adult training skills, members approved recommendations to progress eight schemes to the next stage of development at the meeting on Wednesday 3 February.
Among these were three schemes, totalling more than £38 million, including £12.6 million from the Combined Authority via the Getting Building Fund, through which the organisation secured a total of £52.6 million.
The fund is being used to accelerate 15 “shovel-ready” projects in response to the pandemic, helping create nearly 2,300 new jobs and safeguard a further 500 jobs.
These included the first phase of the Bradford “City Village” scheme, which features plans to invest £23.3 million (including £3 million of Combined Authority funding) in the development of an attractive, modern and diverse independent shopping experience, at the heart of which will be the new Darley Street market.
Proposals for an £11.866 million (including £8.6 million of Combined Authority funding) scheme to deliver 6,700 m2 of new green public spaces in Leeds city centre, and 1.4km of walking and cycling improvements between the South Bank and the city centre, as well as a £3 million (including £1 million of Combined Authority funding) scheme for a new community hub at the Kellingley Miner’s Welfare building in Knottingley, were also among the “shovel-ready” schemes on the agenda.
Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the NP11 group of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, said:
“We’re committed to leading the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19, and schemes such as these will help pave a way forward for our region, alongside the work being undertaken by our West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Board.
“We are past the time for words about levelling up – we need action, with the scale of investment, power and resources to get on with the job, and schemes such as these have a vital role to play.
“We have strong track record in supporting projects which deliver growth and jobs benefitting all our communities. This work is more important than ever.”
Members also approved recommendations to progress the following schemes, including two new rail stations, at the Investment Committee meeting:
- A £24.198 million (including £17 million Combined Authority funding) rail station between Morley and Cotttingley on the Transpennine route at White Rose, Leeds.
- A £31.642 million (including £13.9 million of Combined Authority funding) parkway rail station at Thorpe Park on the Leeds to York section of the Transpennine route.
- A £19.656 million (including £14.027 million of Combined Authority funding) scheme to improve bus punctuality and journey times, as well as cycling and walking measures, on the A647 between Armley Gyratory in Leeds and the Leeds Road Gyratory in Bradford.
- A £17.356 million scheme (including £14.513 million of Combined Authority funding) to increase the capacity of the Leeds City Region Employment Hubs in response to COVID-19.
- A £9.645 million (including £9.37 million of Combined Authority funding) scheme to enhance and extend the current re[boot] Adult Retraining programme in response to COVID-19.
Both the Armley Gyratory and the Thorpe Park Rail Station schemes are part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region