One step closer for £1m bid to entice mystery finance company to Leeds city centre

The final stages of putting together a bid to entice a mystery finance company to Leeds have been completed, a report has confirmed.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) investment committee is set to discuss the plans, known as “Project Lapwing”, which would see a grant of £1 million of public money offered to help cover set up costs for a finance company to move all of its UK sites to the region.

Leeds City Centre could soon be the new home to a multinational finance company.

Leeds City Centre could soon be the new home to a multinational finance company.

And a report by WYCA officers, set to go before the committee, has confirmed that a full business case for the plans, as well as permission for the grant, was approved by WYCA’s managing director last month.

WYCA had previously referred to the site being somewhere in the “Leeds City Region”, but the latest report confirms the site would be in “central Leeds”, and could help secure nearly 1,000 jobs in the area.

The report states: “The project will enable a financial services organisation to consolidate their UK sites within central Leeds, safeguarding 450 jobs and creating an additional 400 new jobs at city region level.

“This approval (full business case with finalised costs) and expenditure approval of a £1 million grant was made through delegation to the Combined Authority’s Managing Director on 26 April 2019.”

A more in-depth report from WYCA, published in December 2018, claimed Lapwing would help boost investment in the region by up to £25m by 2028.

It added the company was an “international financial services firm with an international presence”, and that the company had worked with the UK Department for International Trade to look at potential locations for the new premises, which led to Leeds City Region being selected as a the preferred location.

It is not yet known whether the company has chosen to relocate to Leeds.

The WYCA investment committee meeting will take place at Wellington House at Tuesday, June 11.