THE go-ahead has been given for the West Yorkshire devolution deal to move forward to its next stage - a decision made by teleconference due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Bradford Council's Executive gave its backing for the recommendations and endorsed moving forward to the next stage, as they provided their views to the council’s Chief Executive in this morning’s meeting.

As a sign of the unprecedented times we are not living in, the meeting was held by teleconference, and not as a public meeting as usual in line with the current public health requirements.

Now that the Executive has given its views, the Chief Executive will take the decision under delegated powers tomorrow.

Bradford City centre pedestrianisation one step closer thanks to budget announcement

The report comes after West Yorkshire council leaders secured a mayoral devolution deal for the region with Government which they signed on March 11.

The deal unlocks revenue and capital funding worth £1.8 billion over the next 30 years.

Specific benefits for the Bradford district include an additional £500,000 in direct funding towards a city centre masterplan in preparation for Northern Powerhouse Rail, which the Council hopes will have a station at Bradford Interchange; a series of measures to transform Bradford city centre including the pedestrianisation of streets including Hall Ings, cycling infrastructure and improved station access; a new park-and-ride for South Bradford; and support for an ActEarly research hub to build on the pioneering work of Born in Bradford on childhood health.

By approving today’s report, the Executive endorsed the deal and progressed the governance process on to the next stage which includes a statutory review to be carried out jointly with the partner councils and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “In these exceptionally challenging times, more than ever it is vital that we lay the firm foundations that our district will need to be resilient and equipped to succeed in the future.

"We were delighted to finally secure this deal with government which will bring much needed new investment and will bring powers from Whitehall to West Yorkshire, benefitting people from Keighley to Kippax and all points in between.

"We are pleased to move this forward to the next formal stage which leads to consultation, new governance arrangements and then completion.”