Country’s largest Growth Deal signed for Leeds City Region
PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY LEEDS CITY REGION ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP
LEP Chair, Roger Marsh, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair, Councillor Peter Box, have today met with the Deputy Prime Minister to officially sign the largest Growth Deal in the country, bringing £1bn of investment into the Leeds City Region.
The Leeds City Region Growth Deal will support the LEP’s priorities to improve local transport links, accelerate housing growth and town centre regeneration, develop a skilled and flexible workforce, support growing businesses and build a resource efficient City Region.
The official Growth Deal signing commits the government to devolving £573 million to the LEP and Combined Authority from April 2015 onwards. This funding will go towards a diverse range of projects and programmes that will contribute towards the LEP’s overall ambition to unlock the City Region’s potential to be the growth engine for the north and rebalance the nation.
Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP commented:
"I’m delighted to be signing such a significant Growth Deal to Leeds City Region today. It will lead to better transport, more housing and a major boost for jobs in the region. Devolving power and money to the North has been something I’ve been pushing for and this Deal is the perfect example of how local people know what works. It's all about building a stronger economy and a fairer society.
"Signing this at the Northern Futures Summit is a fitting kick-start to a day of debate and discussion about how we support the economy in the North. By 2021, this Deal will create at least 8,000 jobs and allow 1,000 homes to be built."
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:
“This is an historic moment for the Leeds City Region as we officially confirm transformational devolved funding for our businesses and residents. These new powers and pounds will create tens of thousands of new jobs and accelerate economic growth across the entire City Region.
"The signing of this deal confirms the trust that government has in our region and enables decisions to be taken by the people who understand our challenges and opportunities. The LEP is ready to seize this opportunity and ensure that good growth is felt by all who live and work in the Leeds City Region."
Councillor Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), said:
"Gaining the country’s largest Growth Deal, and the £1bn Transport Fund, shows the Government agrees that we have the ambition, the structure and the local expertise to deliver transformational economic growth, new jobs, more houses and a better transport network.
"This Deal has been the result of a lot of hard work with our LEP partners and, as today’s Northern Futures event shows, represents the beginning of a gathering national momentum to devolve budgets and powers into local hands, where they have been shown to make a real difference."
Leader of Leeds City Council and WYCA member Councillor Keith Wakefield added:
"This landmark deal is testimony to the strength of partnership between the Combined Authority and the LEP. It paves the way for us to develop the investment, infrastructure, housing, training, skills and jobs we need to improve people's lives and for the economy of the Leeds City Region to start the process of fully realising its immense potential."
By 2021, this Growth Deal will bring to Leeds City Region:
At least 8,000 jobs
Up to 1,000 homes
At least £340million investment in the Leeds City Region economy from public and private partners
Alongside this Growth Deal funding is a further £420m of devolved funding for the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund which will enable a £1bn programme of investment in the local transport network over the next 20 years, creating further new jobs and improving connectivity for local residents and businesses.
Other key areas of investment include strategic housing and development projects in Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, York, Halifax, and Skipton to create good quality, affordable homes; Further investment in LEP’s highly successful grant funding programme, which has already provided over 300 local businesses with the finance they need to invest, expand and create over 3,000 jobs; Funding for further education colleges and training providers that will support engineers, manufacturers and other sectors and ensure a world-class learning environment for young people; And investment to create a resource efficient City Region, including a business support programme to help SMEs reduce energy costs and increase productivity and BioVale, a bio-waste innovation cluster in York supporting firms to develop commercially viable biotechnology.
The signing of this historic deal comes as devolution of further powers and funding to the North is being discussed at the government’s Northern Futures summit, which is taking place in Leeds today. Working with government and all of the major political parties, the LEP will continue to develop plans that will bring prosperity to all.
For press/media enquiries or for more information on the LEP please contact:
Senior Communications Officer
Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
Tel: 07891 278049
Notes to editors
The Leeds City region Enterprise Partnership, also known as The LEP, is a private and public sector partnership, working to stimulate business growth across the Leeds City Region.
The Leeds City Region geography includes 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council)
OUR VISION: To unlock the potential of the City Region, developing an economic powerhouse that creates jobs and prosperity
OUR MISSION: By acting as a bridge between government and business, we will help businesses to unlock their potential, attracting and retaining the best talent to the City Region and building its profile nationally and internationally