Plan for commercial quarter to create up to 6,500 more jobs

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A council report has mapped out how a major development in York can raise wages and create and retain jobs while providing space for the city’s businesses to grow.

Executive member for economy and strategic planning Councillor Andrew Waller will consider what types of employers the council is encouraging the wider York Central Partnership to attract at his decision-session on Monday 9 September.

The report outlines how the regeneration of the 44- hectare York Central site can build on the city’s buoyant economy and record employment rates.

If approved, the proposals will form a brief to the council partners and major landowners, Network Rail and Homes England, as they seek occupiers for the site.

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said: “York is an economic centre worth £5.2bn to the UK economy, with 9,000 businesses and 110,000 people employed across the city.

“York Central gives us the opportunity to build on that success while creating opportunities for more residents to build well-paid careers in their home city.

“We need to offer a clear brief to our partners so this regeneration makes York Central an even better place to live and work, driving clean growth and up to 6,500 better paid jobs.”

The site’s 90,000 sq m of office space aims to provide:

  • High quality commercial space to attract the higher paid jobs in sectors which can’t currently find a home in York.
  • Spaces for a mix of different business sizes, including six to eight well-established large companies, space for 20 companies of around 100 people as well as premises for smaller companies and start-ups.
  • Provision for key growth sectors which include companies in the technology, financial services, insurance, rail engineering and biotech sectors.
  • Co-working and serviced office accommodation to meet growing demand across the region.
  • A visible presence for the city’s universities, especially supporting research connections with the National Railway Museum.

The brownfield site has been designated an ‘Enterprise Zone’, offering even greater incentives for businesses to locate there.

The York Central Partnership (YCP) members, Homes England, Network Rail, the National Railway Museum and City of York Council, have been working for the past four years to develop proposals to unlock the potential of the site.

The partnership has secured approval for its outline planning application and assembled a potential £155m funding package for infrastructure works.

This includes £23.5m of a total of £37.2m from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Leeds City Region Growth Deal, which will also fund the ambitious plans to transform the front of the railway station.

The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region. The aim is to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4bn a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.

City of York Council has received a Local Growth Fund contribution of £6m, and agreed to borrow £35m from York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP to be repaid using retained business rates from the York Central Enterprise Zone.

The council’s £77.1m bid for the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund is at an advanced stage, with a decision expected in the autumn.

The approved outline planning application includes proposals to build up to  2,500 homes, 20% of which will be affordable, and a commercial quarter for around 6,500 jobs, adding a £1.16bn boost to the economy.

The decision session takes place at 2pm on Monday 9 September at West Offices and will be webcast live at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts. To read the report visit https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=735&MId=11428&Ver=4

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