Leeds flood measures in £109m bid for growth cash

MEASURES to make Leeds more resilient to flooding and help build new homes in the city are part of a bid for £109m of Government help for the West Yorkshire economy.

The Boxing Day floods
The Boxing Day floods

If the bid is approved by ministers, Leeds’s Kirkstall Road which was devastated by the Boxing Day floods would be among the areas to benefit from efforts to make West Yorkshire more resilient to extreme weather.

The money would be in addition to improved flood defences already promised by the Government in the aftermath of last winter’s events.

In its bid document submitted to ministers, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority warns businesses have already reported £150m in losses connected to the floods and “the next 12 months will bring the greatest challenges as they try to deliver orders which have been delayed, as well as balance the effects of delaying in getting new equipment and possible site reolocation”.

The package of proposals also includes investment to make the Hunslet Mills site ready for housing.

As part of efforts to improve skills in the district, Leeds City College could be given support with its Quarry Bank campus project.

Money would also be spent on helping make the Aire Valley Enterprise Zone more attractive to businesses.

The proposals have been put forward by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority as it bids for a share of £1.8bn the Government has made available to help local economies grow faster.

If ministers back the whole package of proposals, which also includes finance for business to grow, it is estimated they could help create almost 10,000 new jobs and add £1bn to the West Yorkshire economy.

A decision is expected later this year.