THE final stages of putting together a bid to entice a mystery finance company to Leeds have been completed, a report has confirmed.

But a Bradford Councillor has raised concerns about £1 million of public money being spent encouraging such a company to locate in a city that already boasts a thriving financial sector.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority investment committee is set to discuss the plans, known as “Project Lapwing”, which would see a grant offered to help cover set up costs for a finance company to move all of its UK sites to the region.

And a report by WYCA officers, set to go before the committee, has confirmed that a full business case for the plans, as well as permission for the grant, was approved by WYCA’s managing director last month.

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WYCA had previously referred to the site being somewhere in the “Leeds City Region”, which includes Bradford, but the latest report confirms the site would be in “central Leeds”, and could help secure nearly 1,000 jobs in the area.

The report states: “The project will enable a financial services organisation to consolidate their UK sites within central Leeds, safeguarding 450 jobs and creating an additional 400 new jobs at city region level.

“This approval and expenditure approval of a £1 million grant was made through delegation to the Combined Authority’s Managing Director on 26 April 2019.”

A more in-depth report from WYCA, published in December 2018, claimed Lapwing would help boost investment in the region by up to £25m by 2028.

It added the company was an “international financial services firm with an international presence”, and that the company had worked with the UK Department for International Trade to look at potential locations for the new premises, which led to Leeds City Region being selected as a the preferred location.

It is not yet known whether the company has chosen to relocate to Leeds.

The WYCA investment committee meeting will take place at Wellington House at Tuesday, June 11.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Liberal Democrat leader on Bradford Council, said it appeared the company already had some presence in Leeds. She said: “It seems like this is safeguarding a number of jobs that might have moved away.

“For me I’m concerned about a million pound being spent keeping a company in a city with a thriving financial service economy. I’m not sure why money needs to be spent when Leeds is already a very attractive place for financial services.”

Councillor John Pennington, leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, said: “A lot has been kept secret, but I understand it is a particularly attractive company to get into the region. While this sounds like an awful lot of money, we’re talking about a company that will create hundreds of jobs.

“It would be wonderful to have them in Bradford, but I can fully understand them enticing them to Leeds, which is more oriented around financial businesses.

“But Bradford recently attracted PriceWaterhouseCooper, and I think the tide is turning. I’m sure we’ll see more high profile companies moving to Bradford soon.”