£1bn Deal to boost jobs and growth welcomed

​Date: 08/07/2014
Ref: PR 4631

An announcement from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a £1bn Deal to boost economic growth across the region has been welcomed.

The announcement will bring £150m of funding to the Wakefield district for transport infrastructure schemes to be delivered over the next 10 years.

One of these schemes is the Pontefract Link Road which is currently being constructed. It is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and bring many benefits to Pontefract including easing congestion in the area and creating improved access to Junction 32 of the M62.

Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Peter Box CBE, said: "This announcement is great news for the district and we will do all we can to make sure that Wakefield continues to benefit from this funding."

One project which will benefit from the Deal is the City Fields development which aims to create a sustainable eastern expansion of Wakefield that will deliver social, environmental and economic benefits – improving the quality of life for local residents. This development is expected to create 350 new homes, 900 permanent jobs and over 500 jobs throughout the construction phase.

"The Deal will be used to accelerate the Southern Gateway of the wider City Fields development which will provide major housing growth in the area. It will also enable the removal of old structures and remediation of the former power station site," Cllr Box added.

Also to be delivered through the Deal is the Skills Capital programme which invests in colleges to develop a flexible, skilled workforce. The Council has already submitted a bid to the fund to create a university centre in Wakefield.

Wakefield Council's Chief Executive, Joanne Roney OBE, said: "We also firmly believe that the way forward for economic growth is through having access to higher levels of skills and that is why we are bidding for funding from the Skills Capital programme to create a university centre for Wakefield. We hope that this announcement will help drive this forward."

The £1bn Deal includes a £573m settlement between 2015 and 2021 from the government's Local Growth Fund to deliver an ambitious growth agenda –which the Council hopes it can feed into its Business Support Programme to help boost jobs in the district.

For more information about the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, and the announcement, please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk