Millions of pounds go into city economy

David Cameron
David Cameron
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MIllions of pounds of Government cash will go into projects in and around Leeds to grow the area’s economy, it was announced today.

The Leeds City Region, an area taking in the city and its neighbours, has secured more than £54 million to spend on schemes that will help create new jobs, homes and businesses.

Projects expected to benefit include a new centre at Leeds University to provide space for hi-tech businesses capitalising on the university’s health research.

Money will also be spent on making areas of land ready to be used for new businesses and housing.

And there will be investment on improving skills, seen as one of the major barriers to economic growth in the area.

Announcing the money, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.”

The money announced for the area today comes on top of more than £500 million secured last year to support the Leeds City Region’s economic plans.

It is estimated over the next six years those plans could help create more than 10,000 jobs and 2,000 new homes.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority chairman Peter Box said: “With this additional investment we will be able to build upon work already underway and create more jobs and economic opportunities for local people and businesses – including building more good quality, affordable homes to meet current and future demand, helping reduce energy bills for local people and small businesses, and investing in world-class college facilities to help our young people to develop the skills they need to thrive in a fast-paced labour market.”

Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership which brings councils and business together to grow the economy, described the scale of the deal as a sign of the Government’s confidence in the area to deliver economic growth.