Deal for Leeds City Region set to bring huge benefits
Kirklees Council is one of 11 partner councils to benefit from the deal, which grants unprecedented control over spending and decision making, helping businesses grow and ensuring future investment is in line with the wider city region’s needs and investment priorities.
To help with the delivery of short and longer term growth initiatives, the Partnership will put in place a £1bn local fund to be used for investment in public transport and the highways network and a further £400m fund to modernise infrastructure across the city region. This is very positive news for Huddersfield and the wider Kirklees district and will enable new investment to be targeted at our strategic transport priorities such as Cooper Bridge and the A644 in order to increase economic growth and create much needed jobs. Money will be deployed to transport schemes in a priority order according to the jobs and growth potential.
Leader of Kirklees Council Cllr Khan said: “The City Deal announcement is not only hugely significant for the city region but it also extremely positive for the people of Kirklees. Over the last 12 months we have been at the forefront of developing and supporting this initiative which recognises that the wider region can achieve so much more in terms of economic growth and job creation when all authorities are working together towards the same goal.
We have lobbied hard to secure greater decision-making powers and investment in our region, which also stand to deliver significant benefits here for us in Kirklees such as supporting local business to grow, improving connectivity for residents and ensuring our workforce has access to training, education and employment opportunities.
“For example, the new Transport Fund will deliver vital improvements to our connectivity, enabling Kirklees residents to take advantage of new jobs created across the region, and better connecting Kirklees businesses with their customers. It will enable schemes that contribute to growth and jobs in Kirklees to come forward, that would not otherwise have happened. Work is currently underway on developing the best schemes for Kirklees and we're confident that we will benefit both from investment in the area and by helping people travel more between us and other districts.”
Co-ordinated through the Local Enterprise Partnership, the City Deal is an historic transfer of powers and funding from national government, giving the Partnership and its local authorities greater control over spending and decision making.
The city deal’s benefits include:
• Ensure faster, reliable transport connections to centres and areas of employment through a 10-year £1bn ‘West Yorkshire-Plus’ Transport Fund, matching Department for Transport budgets with local funding. Locally, this will enable focus on strategic priorities such Cooper Bridge and the A644 creating economic growth and jobs for local residents;
• Create 7,500 new apprenticeships through the Apprenticeship Academy and Apprenticeship Hubs across the District, offering young people valuable employment opportunities. This will also generate significant benefits for Kirklees College in working with others across the city region to provide education and training linked to business needs and opportunities and for example utilising the new state of the art engineering facility.
• A city region Investment Fund of £400m over the next 10 years, pooling local funding sources and matched by Government. This new approach to investment will allow for a more streamlined and targeted approach to business growth, providing investment in key projects that maximise growth. This is very positive for Kirklees businesses who’ve enjoyed recent success in securing Regional Growth Fund monies to fund specific projects around development and technical improvements.
• Creation of a West Yorkshire Combined Authority with wider city region membership to provide strong governance and decision-making on how and where to prioritise the significant increase in investment.