New track around Leeds station to open up a wider range of high speed rail services through the city will be one of the projects funded by £300m announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond, the YEP has learned.
The money will help pay for an extra piece of track which will allow services arriving on the proposed HS2 high speed line to stop at the existing platforms at Leeds station, paving the way for smooth onward services to Manchester and the North-East.
Under previous plans high speed trains were only due to stop at new platforms stretching south towards the river which will be built as part of a major overhaul of Leeds station in the coming years.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the money to help future-proof the North rail network last week.
And the YEP has now been told Transport Secretary Chris Grayling expects the extra track at Leeds will be one of the projects it will support.
Paula Dillon, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have always maintained that HS2 must be built as part of a network rather than a standalone piece of infrastructure so it is really important that consideration, and funding is made available.
“In Leeds the ‘hook’ solution will ensure that an expanded Leeds station will be at the heart of a high speed rail network rather than at the end of the line.
“Our own analysis has shown that the ability for high speed trains to pass through the enhanced station will put somewhere in the region of 10 million people within an hour’s commute of Leeds city centre, meaning companies in the city can draw from the largest possible talent base.”