£18m from Getting Building Fund to support city’s three major regeneration projects

Leeds City Council has secured more than £18m from the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

The cash will be used to deliver three regeneration projects designed to boost economic growth and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, help to tackle climate change, and improve residents’ wellbeing.

The council will receive a total of £18.604 million from the fund, as part of a successful £52.6m bid made to Government by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, on behalf of the region and its five local authorities.

The fund will support:

  • City Park – £8.6m to transform road space in the South Bank area of the city into new green space and improved public realm as part of one of Europe’s largest regeneration programmes.

The work will involve transforming road space at Meadow Lane and Crown Point Road into green space for pedestrians and active travel.

This include the closure of two pay-and-display car parks and conversion of 50,000 sq ft of highway land.

It will enable safe bus, pedestrian and cycling connections through South Bank to an improved public space around the Corn Exchange and form part of the new City Park –the largest new city centre green space in the UK, which will be delivered by Vastint and the Council at the former Tetley Brewery site.

Funding will also support installation of a new River Aire footbridge from Sovereign Square linking the park to Leeds Railway Station.

Along with creation of people-friendly spaces, the project will help accelerate new development, with as many as 1,400 homes and 5,000 new jobs expected to follow through related schemes.

  • Temple Green Park and Ride expansion – £7.4m will be used to create 400 additional spaces at the facility in east Leeds, helping to reduce air pollution and congestion in the city centre.
  • Holbeck Victorian Terrace Improvements – £2.604m will be used to improve older terraced homes in the Holbeck area of the city through measures such as new roofing, doors and windows, along with external wall insulation, which will improve the energy efficiency of properties, and help to reduce residents’ fuel bills.

A previous phase of this work led to 153 houses benefiting from the improvements, and the new funding is expected to enable a further 100 homes reach the same standards.

The money will also support ongoing work in the area to help people access jobs, educational opportunities, healthcare and financial assistance.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding as it will allow us to press ahead with three shovel-ready schemes in Leeds.

“These are all projects that will help reduce our city’s carbon impact and help the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Securing this funding shows how quickly the council and the city can respond when the right financial support becomes available.”

This funding forms part of the £52.6m secured by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which will also provide:

  • £7m towards the Business Growth Programme – A grants scheme to help businesses recover and adapt following the lockdown. Designed to help 175 businesses, create 800 new jobs and safeguard 200 existing jobs.
  • £9.07m towards the Enterprise Zones at Parry Lane in Bradford and Langthwaite in Wakefield – Further funding to extend existing sites and open up more land to meet industry demand, creating up to 400 jobs when complete.
  • £7.5m towards Bradford One City Park – A scheme to create new office space in the heart of the city centre. This is expected to create 300 construction jobs and another 452 jobs when complete.
  • £3m towards Bradford City Village phase 1 – The first phase of a ten-year plan to revitalise part of the city centre creating up to 1,000 new homes and replace the outdated market hall. This is expected to safeguard 300 existing jobs and create 400 new jobs.
  • £1.8m towards Brighouse A6025 Reconstruction – A scheme to reopen a road which has been closed since a landslip in February providing access to the proposed Elland Rail Station, housing sites and improving access to the town centre. This is expected to create an additional 18 construction jobs.
  • £1.2m towards Beech Hill Phase 2 Group Repair & Regeneration Scheme – A package of measures to retrofit homes with new insulation, windows and doors to improve energy efficiency. This is expected to create 13 construction jobs.
  • £1.365m towards Huddersfield George Hotel acquisition and remedial works – A scheme to buy and redevelopment a grade-II listed building next to Huddersfield Rail Station and transform it into the new National Rugby League Museum with a restaurant, bars and new office space. This is expected to create 174 new jobs with an additional 13 construction jobs.
  • £600,000 towards Dewsbury Arcade – A scheme to restore and reopen the grade-II listed Victorian Dewsbury Arcade, part of Kirklees Council’s ten-year plan for Dewsbury town centre. This is expected to create 30 new jobs with an additional 10 construction jobs.
  • £661,000 towards Wakefield Warm Homes Fund – A scheme to improve energy efficiency in low income households helping to reduce fuel poverty, carbon emissions and tackle health inequalities.
  • £300,000 towards the Business Gigabit Voucher Scheme – Helping businesses and homes connect to super or ultrafast broadband as well as installing new wireless and 4G/5G networks in community locations.
  • £1m towards Knottingley Skills, Business and Services Hub – A scheme to upgrade the existing Kellingley Club building to create a new community hub to help people access education, training and careers support. It will also offer help to local businesses and start-ups.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and leader of Bradford Council, said: “The 15 projects that were put forward to receive funding are integral to West Yorkshire’s economic recovery plan and will ensure the benefits are felt across a wide range of communities and economic sectors.

“The projects focus on areas vital to a successful, and inclusive recovery, such as regenerating our towns and cities, support for business investment and jobs growth as well as opening up new walking and cycling routes.”

Start dates are expected to be announced soon, with all works due to be complete by 2022.