An innovative new growth strategy aimed at giving the whole of Leeds a chance to make the most of the city’s economic boom has been launched today.
The consultation draft of the Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy was recently approved by the city’s senior councillors, with businesses and stakeholders now being invited to have their say as part of a city-wide consultation.
Businesses are also being asked to pledge support and adopt the values set out in the strategy, which will help companies to deliver growth that is sustainable, inclusive and benefits all of the city’s communities.
Covering the period 2017 until 2023, the 12 key areas the strategy focusses include putting children at the heart of the city’s growth, improving careers advice and opportunities for all, improving the quality of jobs, tackling low pay and in-work progression, and boosting productivity.
Communities will also be better equipped to respond to economic changes through improved housing, investment in neighbourhoods, and the transformation of town centres into economic and service hubs.
And the size of the city centre would be doubled, with new jobs, homes and a city park in the South Bank, an Innovation District around the universities and hospital, and a rebuilt and revitalised Leeds Train Station.
The strategy will also boost Leeds’s bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023 by helping to increase visitors and supporting the growth of the cultural and creative sector.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Leeds is enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity and growth, with a vibrant, successful and resilient economy filled with innovation and enterprise.
“But it’s crucial that the city as a whole benefits from that success and that the people of Leeds remain at the heart of how we work with businesses and developers, both now and in the future.”
The launch of the strategy comes as Leeds boasts its highest level of completed developments for a decade. The city’s business tourism has also been valued at £500m and Leeds is the fifth most popular conference destination in the UK.
Tourist guide Lonely Planet has named Leeds one of its top ten European tourist destinations for 2017 and the recent UK Powerhouse report showed the city’s economy had grown by eight percent since 2014- outstripping London.
Cllr Blake added: “Alongside partners in the private sector, our aim is to stimulate inclusive growth which reduces inequality through a strategy that provides job opportunities for everyone, brings down unemployment and increases wages.
“There’s no question we need to do more to ensure everyone in the city both contributes to and benefits from the success of our economy. By pledging their support for this strategy and making its core values a key part of how they operate, businesses can be part of securing a more balanced, sustainable and successful Leeds economy than ever before.”
Consultation on the Inclusive Growth Strategy will run until October 16. The final strategy will then be published in January, 2018.
For more details, or for businesses wanting to pledge their support, please visit: www.leedsgrowthstrategy.com