A NEW enterprise zone that will lead to over 550 jobs being created will help deal with Bradford’s “severe shortage” of employment land.

Next week members of West Yorkshire Combined Authority will receive updates on a major new employment site off Gain Lane in Thornbury, behind the Morrisons headquarters.

Although it will be a private development, the authority will be funding the proposals to the tune of £9.877 million to improve access to the site, including building a new road.

The 12.77 hectare site is one of three Enterprise Zones planned for Bradford, with the other two being on Parry Lane and Staithgate Lane.

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee will be told the Combined Authority should provide the almost £10 million of Local Growth funding to help “unlock” the project for a private developer to “support site access and infrastructure works including earthworks, retaining walls attenuation and connections to existing, landscaping and new access road to unlock the site.”

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The site will include eight units, and 29,404 square metres on industrial space.

The Combined Authority predicts the units will be “capable of accommodating 550 jobs, generating £11,000 GVA (gross value added) annually, and business rate income of £900,000 per annum.”

If the scheme goes ahead as planned, the development will be completed in 2025.

The authority says the jobs at the site will all be new - not re,located from other sites. and that construction and preparation of the site will also create local jobs.

A report to the committee says: “Bradford has a severe shortage of employment land. This is largely due

to topography and previous land uses which, while being very productive were based on vertical manufacturing in multi storey properties on small plots and not the modern system of single story production on larger plots.

“The city has the youngest population in the UK and as a result, a large number of the population enter the world of work every year.

“Without opportunities for business to be created and expand, Bradford will be unable to meet ambitious targets of raising GVA by £4bn by getting 20,000 more people into work.”

It says that although the Authority will be paying for the infrastructure works, the eventual private developer would fund site purchase, unit construction, marketing and letting costs, and project management of the scheme.

The site will be one of 10 “M62 Enterprise Zones”, which cover sites in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.