The city is being transformed through public and private investment
Cities need to move. They need to be clean. They need to be places where businesses want to do business, and where people want to live. So, when you see tens of millions of pounds’ worth of investment being made to improve transport, create new jobs, build new homes, and boost economic growth, you should sit up and take notice. And when that investment is worth hundreds of millions, and billions… well, like the man once said, “Follow the money”.
Welcome to Leeds, Yorkshire.
Economic investment – started in 2015, ballooning in 2017
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) started its latest commitments to invest in the Leeds economy back in 2015. In the 2015/16 tax year, the WYCA had invested £38.3 million. A healthy sum. Last year, they pumped in £84 million. This year, £95 million should have been invested between April 2017 and April 2018.
The co-Chairperson of the WYCA, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said of the investments: “These striking figures, representing over £218 million of investment in around 75 schemes, have been designed to generate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region.”
What are these investments, and how will they impact the Leeds economy and the environment for property investment? Here’s a flavour of what’s going on in Leeds today.
Investing for economic growth in Leeds
The WYCA has already approved £5.7 million for funding economic growth initiatives this year to date and has backed another £35 million of investment by the end of the 2017/18 tax year. Of the money committed so far, much has been spent on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in the City Region.
The new commitment will be invested in the City Region Enterprise Zone programme and the East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR). Investment in the Leeds is forecast to inflate the Leeds economy. Development of the Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone and the M62 Corridor Enterprise Zone will transform more than 200 hectares of prime commercial land, including Gain Lane and Parry Lane in Bradford, Calderdale Clifton Business Park, and the Wakefield District South Kirkby Business Park.
The forecast for the outcome of this investment is that it will create more than 15,000 jobs and almost £5 billion of economic growth by 2025.
Investing for better connectivity in Leeds
Transport in Leeds is the road to off-plan property investment success, as we discussed in an article we published in August:
- The city is already well connected. It’s at the heart of the UK’s road network, with motorways carrying traffic to the four corners of the UK.
- The city benefits from a comprehensive bus network.
- Leeds’s New Street station is one of the busiest in the UK, as well as being one of the largest.
- Leeds Bradford Airport connects to more than 60 European cities.
This year alone, more than £11 million is being invested in transport in and around Leeds. This investment will help to reduce congestion and improve air quality. Safety on the roads will be improved. And get this: the new 4½-mile Leeds Orbital Road scheme is going to unlock the land needed to build as many as 5,500 new homes. On top of the £11 million already committed, it looks like another £14 million will be pumped into the project this year.
Investing in study and housing
The authorities in Leeds understand that education is key to unlocking the economic potential of Leeds. A highly skilled workforce attracts businesses. The WYCA has agreed to spend another £8.5 million on improving colleges.
Another £2 million has been committed to providing the funds for housing and environmental measures, including tackling energy poverty.
£218 million… only the start of the Growth Deal investment
Of the capital agreed and committed this year, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe concluded that:
“It shows just how much we are achieving with the money we have. This ability to invest huge amounts in schemes that will transform and accelerate the creation of business growth, job creation and housing construction, is precisely why the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) exist.”
Co-Chairperson of the WYCA, Councillor Peter Box, said: “This Growth Deal investment represents the injection of much-needed cash into vital schemes that will generate growth in our economy, new jobs and access to skills and training, the development of new and affordable housing and improvements to transport.
“The £35 million of major schemes, to develop Enterprise Zones across the City Region and continue the development of the East Leeds Orbital Road we have backed today are two great examples of what we can accomplish.”
Absolutely, but it’s only the start. The £218 million committed since 2015 is only part of the £1 billion Growth Deal secured from the government by the Leeds City Region in 2014. And still, this isn’t the total. Another £350 million of public and private funds are set to help boost economic growth, job creation, and regeneration.
You can expect to see much more investment committed in Leeds. And that’s great news for the economy, job creation, transport, education, property development and property investment.
Live with passion,