WORK on a new “enterprise zone” will begin as soon as next month after a funding boost of almost £10 million was granted.

The development on Gain Lane, near the Bradford/Leeds border, will see the creation of 29,404sqm of industrial space and bring 550 jobs to the area.

Yesterday West Yorkshire Combined Authority agreed to provide £9.877 million of funding to kick start the scheme, and members of the West Yorkshire Investment Committee were told that the work could start in the next few weeks.

The rest of the cost will be provided by private investment.

Members were told that the scheme was “very high value for money” and would generate £900,000 a year in Business Rates alone once all eight units planned for the site are occupied. Overall the development could bring in £11 million GVA each year.

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The site is one of 10 enterprise zones planned for across West Yorkshire. A further three are planned in Bradford - one at Parry Lane and another at Staithgate Lane.

Jessica McNeill Enterprise Zone Manager told members that the site - on the border of Leeds and Bradford, was a “key strategic location.” She said: “It has been designated as employment land since 1993, but costs for delivering the site have been prohibitive. There is a significant viability gap to developing the site.

“There is a severe shortage of modern, single storey, quality commercial units in Bradford.”

The funding will prepare the site for the future development, including creating new access roads and opening the doors for private sector investment.

A marketing consultant will help promote the site to employers.

Members were told that work to create the access road was due to start in October.

The first two units on the site were due to be completed in March 2021, with the full site completed by 2025.

Councillor Alex Ross Shaw from Bradford Council said: “It’s great to finally see this going ahead.

“The lack of employment land is a huge issue in Bradford, and I’m sure this will get filled as soon as the units are built.”

The committee approved the funding.

After the meeting Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said: “I’m delighted that the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone site at Gain Lane will now move forward. The grant approved today will facilitate the delivery of 316,500 square feet of commercial space, a range of planned units from 40,000 to 75,000 square feet in size and host up to 550 jobs. This will contribute significantly to the economic growth of Bradford and the wider region.”

At the same meeting members approved a £3.156 million grant to another Enterprise Zone - at Clifton Business Park near Junction 25 of the M62. Thar funding will go towards the delivery of site infrastructure works, including a new access road, and the establishment of a series of development plots. The zone will create 118,018m2 of land for industrial, storage and distribution businesses.