A rallying call has gone out to politicians, businesses and individuals in Leeds to unite to bid for a slice of a £2bn Whitehall cash fund.
With less than six months before the deadline for the Leeds City Region’s funding bid, many city councillors say they remain “in the dark” about the Government’s flagship plan for regional devolution and the massive pot of money attached to it.
Meanwhile rival cities like Manchester are already reaping the rewards because they are “on message”, a meeting of Leeds City Council’s housing and regeneration scrutiny board was told.
Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership (LEP), told the panel: “There is a job to be done. We need to make sure that the strategic plan is seen by Whitehall as visionary – as knockout. We want to change the game for our city region for the next generation.”
Coun Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds Council, said: “The level of investment the LEP can attract will enable us to deliver thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, improvements to transport links and more affordable homes. Awareness of the work of the LEP is growing but...I expect that to increase. The LEP now need to make a strong case for investment in Leeds, as there is a lot to play for.”
Conservative coun John Procter, chair of the housing scrutiny panel, said: “We need to make sure that Leeds is talked up all the time at Whitehall.”