City outlines ambitious plans in bid for over £120m worth of funding

Leeds City Council has submitted six constituency bids totalling £120.8m as part of the round two Levelling Up Fund.

If successful, the proposals would allow the council to deliver on the Government’s levelling up agenda, building on the Morley town deal and connecting West Leeds funding through investment in parks, transport infrastructure, high streets, and local economies across six parliamentary constituencies, that have not yet received levelling up or towns deal cash.

In total, the plans could deliver £186m worth of investment, including a £8.7m match funding contribution from Leeds City Council and a further £56.3m from partners and grants.

In Leeds Central, the bid aims to deliver major change in Holbeck that will renew essential local infrastructure, transform the local community centre, create quality public realm and green space enhancements, and complete green retrofit property repairs.

The bid for Leeds West will involve greenspace enhancements across five community parks, enhance active travel connections, and deliver a revitalised high street in Armley that prioritises public transport and pedestrians.

Redevelopment of the existing Fearnville Leisure Centre into a 64,000 sq ft wellbeing centre forms the focus of the bid in Leeds East, allowing for the rejuvenation of a rapidly deteriorating facility to serve some of the most deprived communities in Leeds.

In Elmet and Rothwell, the bid features a series of linked nature habitats in a connected corridor activating the River Aire. This includes the creation of a new visitor welcome building at the RSPB St Aidan’s nature reserve.

For North West Leeds a package of two linked projects has been submitted as part of the bid, which will invest in transport infrastructure to unlock the benefits of the 90-acre North West Leeds employment hub site.

Finally, in North East Leeds the bid aims to prioritise sustainable transport options through a new park and ride site and the provision of segregated walking, cycling, and dedicated bus infrastructure, better connecting North East Leeds with the city centre.

Councillor Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “The six bids we have submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, offer a unique opportunity for the department to deliver meaningful transformation, driving economic growth forward and tackling health and wellbeing inequalities.

“As a council we are committed to working with the Government on all six projects to help transform local areas and I believe all six projects will if successful will make a real difference to residents across Leeds.”

Cllr James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, added: “We have put together six ambitious bids and they represent a real opportunity to build on the great work taking place across Leeds to regenerate our local communities, delivering 21st century infrastructure and create meaningful jobs.”

The bids will now be evaluated by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with outcomes expected to be unveiled alongside the Government’s autumn statement.