YEP Says, October 16: Exciting times for Leeds as confidence continues to grow

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...and how long will we wait for rail link to airport?

LEEDS is changing before our very eyes. Everywhere you look, it seems, something is happening.

As we reveal today, the landmark former home of the YEP is set to be transformed with a series of striking designs put forward by developers.

Their aim is to turn the site into a potential combination of offices, restaurants, high quality apartments and a hotel. A total of 4,000 people could live or work there.

It is a welcome sign of confidence in the city’s future after the best part of a decade in the doldrums. And it’s being echoed elsewhere through the forthcoming Victoria Gate scheme and recent additions such as the First Direct Arena and Trinity.

Even a scheme such as trolleybus – which has split public opinion – signals that change is on its way.

Then there is Kirkstall Forge, the £400m development which will create a new railway station for the city, with work starting later this month.

And just this week the YEP revealed a new long-term vision for the city’s South Bank, which could be home to Leeds’s planned HS2 station.

This is an exciting time for the city. At last there is a sense that it is going places.

Now the hope must be that this confidence translates into even more investment that will keep driving Leeds forward and make it an better place to live, work and play.

How long will we wait for airport rail link?

IT was good to hear support from MPs across the region during yesterday’s parliamentary debate over a rail link to Leeds-Bradford Airport.

This newspaper has been saying for years that the airport needs to be easier for passengers to access – and the chance to take a train straight to the terminal would convince many to book flights from there rather than Manchester.

The concern is how quickly this new link could be delivered.

It’s another argument for saying such decisions should be put into local hands rather than waiting for Whitehall to creak into action.

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