The scale of investment being channeled into the region in 2018/19 thanks to capital funding secured by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was today discussed at a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.
Funding totalling £195million is set to be invested this year in schemes to improve road, rail and cycling links in the region, develop land for housing and commercial use, regenerate town and city centres, and support businesses to create jobs and apprenticeships.
Commenting on the funding, Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee, said:
As a region we have been very successful in recent years in securing funding from Government and other sources to invest in our region’s future growth and prosperity.
This investment is creating opportunity for people across the region – whether it’s the regeneration of Bradford’s iconic Odeon, the development of our enterprise zone sites across West Yorkshire which are helping to attract new companies and jobs to the region, or projects which will unlock land for house-building such as the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road, which has helped unlock development of over 1,600 new homes in my district.
However, this is only the starting point in reversing decades of under-investment in the North’s economy and transport infrastructure. With key funding streams such as our Growth Deal set to run out in just three years, there can be no let-up in our efforts to secure a meaningful devolution deal for the region, giving us the tools to put in place the long-term investment our region needs to realise its full potential.
Projects set to be completed or get underway by March 2019 as a result of funding through the Combined Authority include: the new Scarborough Bridge pedestrian and cycle crossing in York; improved cycle routes and canal towpaths in Bradford and Huddersfield; additional parking at Mirfield Rail Station; road improvements in East Leeds and Glasshoughton; and works to kick-start housing development at the New Bolton Woods urban village between Bradford and Shipley.
At its meeting recently the Investment Committee also endorsed a package of schemes in Calderdale with a total combined funding value of £34.5million when fully approved. These include the creation of a new, improved 6km canal towpath improving access for cyclists and walkers between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden; the demolition of three tower blocks to make way for new homes at Beech Hill in Halifax; and improvements to key road links in the district with the aim of boosting the local economy and minimising disruption from bad weather.
At the Combined Authority’s annual meeting on 28 June it was reported that the LEP Growth Deal and the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, which make a significant chunk of the Combined Authority’s capital funding, had created or safeguarded 27,500 jobs across the region in its first three years.
£335million Growth Deal funding has been committed by the Combined Authority to date, which has helped bring an additional £342million private and public sector investment in the region.