Senior councillors to discuss local employment boost as part of airport expansion
Proposals which aim to enhance local employment opportunities as part of realising the economic potential of Leeds Bradford International Airport are to be discussed by senior councillors in Leeds next week.
A strategic plan to release land to promote and encourage local business growth and job creation in north west Leeds as well as improved transport links and future expansion of the airport will be discussed by the executive board at Civic Hall in Leeds on Wednesday 15 July.
The plan proposes offering 36.2 hectares of land in and around the airport site to encourage local businesses to expand while also attracting new investment in order to boost the local economy and provide new jobs, skills and training opportunities for people living nearby in the north west of the city.
Leeds City Council has carried out consultation with the airport and all key stakeholders, including more than 200 local employers in north west Leeds, on how best to support local business growth alongside future expansion of the airport and improvements to transport links in a sustainable way with minimal environmental impact.
Proposed improvements at the airport itself include a larger passenger terminal and the creation of a commercial hub made up of an air innovation park, airport village and an air freight park for improved cargo handling. The air innovation park would focus on attracting research and development companies with links to higher education, while the airport village would include hotel, restaurant and retail developments.
The proposed land use forms part of the citywide site allocations plan for housing and development also being discussed by the executive board on July 15, seeking approval to go out for further public consultation later in the year.
Transport and connectivity improvements also form part of the plans, with a new link road being progressed through the West Yorkshire Transport Fund and a potential rail link also being considered in the longer term.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“Releasing this land in and around the airport is vital to meet the local employment needs of the area in terms of helping established businesses grow and to encourage new jobs and skills opportunities.
“Together with the planned improvements to the airport infrastructure and the transport links, these plans show the ambition of the city to work with the airport and the local communities to bring about the maximum benefits in an ambitious but sustainable way.”
Notes to editors:
Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA) is one of the fastest-growing airports in the UK, used by 3.3million passengers each year, supporting 2,600 jobs and contributing more than £100m annually to the city region economy.
Between 2008 and 2013 passenger numbers rose by 16 per cent, and the Department for Transport forecasts its usage could rise to 7.1m passengers a year by 2030 and over nine million by 2050. Potential has been identified to expand the airport’s route network with new international connections opening up new tourism and trade markets as well as creating new jobs.
As part of the plans to improve transport links, the aim is to increase passengers travelling to the airport on public transport to 20 per cent of all trips by 2024 and 25 per cent by 2030.
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