Funding boost to revamp former Leeds chemicals site



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Plans to regenerate a former industrial site on the edge of Leeds city centre has received a £2m boost.

The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which brings together the private and public sectors to promote new jobs and economic growth, has announced its first allocation of funding from the Growing Places Fund to Yorkshire Design Services Ltd.

The £2m loan will be used to prepare the former Yorkshire Chemicals site in Black Bull Street for the development of a number of uses, including a £43m data centre. Recently granted planning permission, the six-storey centre will be the largest independent facility of its kind outside London.

Neil McLean, chairman of the Leeds City Region LEP said: “We are proud to invest the first £2 million of these funds in the regeneration of an important site that will help deliver first class digital infrastructure in the city region.”

“This is about the delivery of targeted investment that can help kick-start infrastructure development in the city region.

“The revolving character of the fund will ensure returns will keep on being reinvested to new projects, giving our businesses and economy more opportunities to grow.”

Paul Ellison, operations director of YDS, said : “We are delighted to be the first in the city region to receive a Growing Places Fund loan.”

“From purchase of the land in June, to receiving planning permission in November for a major infrastructure development, the pace of progress has been swift and the Leeds City Region LEP was quick to recognise the potential for growth that this loan will unlock. Our application was handled efficiently with a great deal of positive energy.”

It is anticipated that 48 jobs will be directly created and another 200 could result from the development of the whole site.

A further 4 loans have been offered to other city region businesses and other loans will be made available in the New Year.

The centre will support the growth of digital industries in Leeds