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Cities sign £20m deal to boost jobs and homes
Bradford and Leeds today signed up to a partnership aimed at providing thousands of new jobs and homes in a nine-mile corridor between the two cities.
A three-year funding programme has been agreed, with £20 million of investment secured for housing development along a corridor that covers Thornbury, New Pudsey, Stanningley, Bramley, Armley and Wortley, and also includes Greengates, Calverley and Rodley.
After two years of planning, the scheme finally came to fruition with both cities formally committing to the Leeds Bradford Corridor Partnership at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, France, today. The partnership is one of the first manifestations of the Northern Way – a strategy to boost the economies in the north of England.
The long-term aims are to create 7,500 homes over the next 20 years, provide refurbished housing along the corridor for which funding has already been secured and develop employment sites on motorway locations, with a potential of securing 3,000 new jobs.
The partnership also aims to improve business growth by encouraging business start-ups. There will also be a continuation of investment in public transport through the introduction of new and improved rail and bus services.
Project bosses said this regeneration had no boundaries between local authorities and would connect residents to the growing economies in both cities.
Councillor Adrian Naylor, executive member for regeneration on Bradford Council, said: “This is the first joint project with committed resources. It demonstrates the two cities working together in a constructive way.
“Both cities have a number of requirements. This includes the need to better connect economic opportunities with a growing potential workforce, the provision of new homes at affordable prices, and the challenge of addressing transport bottlenecks, while safeguarding and improving the local environment.”
Jean Dent, director of city development for Leeds City Council, said: “The Leeds Bradford Corridor is central to the long-term sustainable development of the two cities.
“It is essential that we work closely with Bradford on this project and with our other partners in the wider city region to address the skills, housing and transportation issues to facilitate development and economic growth.”
The two cities’ combined strength includes a growing population of 1.3 million and a shared economy of more than £23 billion per annum.
New research has revealed that Bradford is the fastest-growing metropolitan district outside of London, with an economy valued at more than £7 billion annually.
Alongside the city’s ambitious regeneration programme, the district-wide renaissance continues to take shape with more than £1bn of investment either completed or on site, driven by public and private sector partners.
This includes the mixed-use North Street development in Keighley, which includes retail, leisure and residential space, plus a hotel.
In nearby Baildon, Yorkshire Forward, the Airedale Partnership and Bradford Council are working together on the Baildon Digital Park on a 16-acre greenfield site.