35,700 jobs to be created in Leeds City Region

35,700 jobs to be created in Leeds City Region

A revised Strategic Economic Plan for the Leeds City Region has been unveiled, announcing the creation of an additional 35,700 jobs for local people over the next 20 years and 10 initiatives that are hoped to transform the economy.

The plan for the city region sets out 10 ‘big impact’ points from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (CA) including the ambition of a ‘metro-style’ public transport network using smart ticketing, and clear pricing covering all forms of public transport.

It also describes an ambition of making the city region a leading centre for tech jobs and talent.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the LEP, said: “Our revised Plan sets out the initiatives that will take us on the next stage of our journey towards making the City Region not just self-sufficient, but an above average contributor to the national economy.

“This plan sharpens our focus on delivering that ambition – through the £2bn devolved investment we’ve already secured, and the full devolution we are negotiating with government.

“We’ve already achieved a great deal through effective local leadership and partnership working, but transforming our economy will require us to be persistent, patient, and purposeful.

“By refocusing our priorities in line with the changing economic climate we believe we’re putting ourselves in the driving seat of economic growth within the Northern Powerhouse and indeed the country as a whole.”

The revised Strategic Economic Plan builds on an earlier LEP plan which, in 2014, secured a £1bn growth deal with government – the largest such deal of any local enterprise partnership area in the country.

The ultimate ambition outlined in the Strategic Economic Plan is to grow the city region economy at a rate above the national average – making the city region an overall contributor to the UK economy.

Other projects set out in the plan include initiatives to close the gap to the national average on higher level skills and become a “NEET-free” area, increase levels of business innovation, and supporting regeneration in strategic growth areas across the city region.

Councillor Peter Box, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “Through the Growth Deal, European funding settlement and other public and private sector investment the LEP and CA have brought around £2bn of extra funding into the region.

“As a result, we’re on track to create 35,700 extra jobs over the next 20 years and make the region a near £100bn economy by 2036.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, added: I’m very pleased to add my support to this dynamic strategy, which complements our own ambitions for Leeds to develop a strong economy in a compassionate city where opportunity is available to all.”

Through the £125m LEP investment made between 2011-15 the LEP and CA will, by 2020, have created 3,200 additional jobs and £1.4 billion in extra economic growth for the City Region.

4,300 businesses have been supported in that time, unlocking half a billion pounds of private sector investment.