Approval to progress projects worth £140m, to help region recover

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Schemes totalling more than £140m, which will help bolster the region’s economic recovery from the 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 projects to the next stage of development at the meeting.

Among these were three schemes, totalling more than £38m, including £12.6m from the Combined Authority via the Getting Building Fund, through which the organisation secured a total of £52.6m.

The fund is being used to accelerate 15 projects in response to the pandemic, helping create nearly 2,300 jobs and safeguard a further 500 jobs.

These included the first phase of the Bradford “City Village”, which features plans to invest £23.3m (including £3m of Combined Authority funding) in the development of an independent shopping experience, at the heart of which will be the new Darley Street market.

Proposals for an £11.8m (including £8.6m of Combined Authority funding) initiative to deliver 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 £3m (including £1m of Combined Authority funding) scheme for a community hub at the Kellingley Miner’s Welfare building in Knottingley, were also on the agenda.

Roger Marsh, chairman of 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.”

Members also approved recommendations to progress the following schemes, including two new railway stations, at the Investment Committee meeting:

  • A £24.2m (including £17m Combined Authority funding) rail station between Morley and Cotttingley on the Transpennine route at White Rose, Leeds.
  • A £31.6m (including £13.9m of Combined Authority funding) parkway rail station at Thorpe Park on the Leeds to York section of the Transpennine route.
  • A £19.6m (including £14m 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.

The Thorpe Park Rail Station scheme is part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1bn package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.