Leeds City Region LEP allocates first £2 million from the Growing Places Fund to Yorkshire Design Services


Photo caption: (left to right) Ben Rimmington, Leeds City Region LEP Director; Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council; Paul Ellison and Peter Connolly of Yorkshire Design Services on site looking at the plans

The Local Enterprise Partnership has today announced its first allocation of funding from the Growing Places Fund to Yorkshire Design Services Ltd, helping to bring back into use a contaminated area of land near Leeds city centre.

The £2m loan will be used to prepare the site for the development of a number of uses, including a £43m data centre. This has recently got planning permission and will be the largest independent facility of its kind outside London.

Neil McLean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP said:

“We are proud to invest the first £2 million of these funds in the regeneration of an important site that will help deliver first class digital infrastructure in the city region.”

“This is about the delivery of targeted investment that can help kick-start infrastructure development in the city region. The revolving character of the fund will ensure returns will keep on being reinvested to new projects, giving our businesses and economy more opportunities to grow.”

Paul Ellison, Operations Director of YDS said :

“We are delighted to be the first in the city region to receive a Growing Places Fund loan.”

“From purchase of the land in June, to receiving planning permission in November for a major infrastructure development, the pace of progress has been swift and the Leeds City Region LEP was quick to recognise the potential for growth that this loan will unlock. Our application was handled efficiently with a great deal of positive energy.”

It is anticipated that 48 jobs will be directly created and another 200 could result from the development of the whole site.

A further 4 loans have been offered to other city region businesses and other loans will be made available in the New Year.

Notes to editors:

Growing Places Fund

1. Growing Places Fund is a ‘revolving fund’, the returns on which are being reinvested locally by the LEP.

2. The funds offer businesses a cash injection for a wide range of infrastructure projects that are ready to go and can demonstrate job creation, carbon reduction and economic growth.

3. Loans are available to businesses of any size and available funds range from £250,000 to £5 million. The fund is not able to accept new applications after December 2012.

Leeds City Region Partnership

1. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council), its local enterprise partnership (LEP) and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.

2. To achieve this vision the Partnership is working to deliver a city region wide economic strategy, “The Plan”. The Plan’s objectives are to support business and enterprise, enable a skilled and flexible workforce, foster a low carbon, sustainable economy and create the infrastructure for growth.

3. To ensure effective delivery of these priorities the Partnership was one of the first to agree a ‘city deal’, securing Government support to deliver its flagship initiatives.

The Leeds City Region economy

1. The Leeds City Region is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £52billion economy representing 5% of England’s economy, over 100,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region continues to be at the forefront in driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.

2. For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.


For press/media enquiries please contact:


Leeds City Region Partnership

Tel: 07891 278049