Strengthening regional partnerships to boost York’s economy

26 Apr 2013 @ 5.12 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council’s cabinet will consider proposals aimed at boosting the city’s economy through the Government’s recent move to localise powers – and associated funds – for transport, housing and skills through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), in a meeting on 7 May 2013.

Tasked with supporting local economic growth and job creation, the Leeds City Region LEP brings together local authorities and private sector partners to achieve these aims.

Members will consider proposals to strengthen the links between York and the LCR LEP through its involvement in the LCR LEP’s City Deal, with an associated decision to co-invest in a £1 billion West Yorkshire Plus York Transport Fund and in formalising the process by which the city can direct investment into infrastructure projects critical to the city’s future economic growth.

The authority has also been working to ensure York benefits from Government’s proposed Single Local Growth Funds and the next European funding programme, following the Government’s decision to proceed with the recommendations of the Heseltine Review and decentralise these funds to be delivered by the LEPs.

At the heart of the LCR City Deal, co-signed by City of York Council in 2012, is the ambition to create a £500 million Revolving Investment Fund for the City Region, initially from the pooling of local authority funds, to which City of York would look to commit an investment of £1.7 million. The fund would be maintained and grown by investing in commercially viable projects and leveraging match-funding, to gain the greatest returns with which to reinvest in further projects.

Cllr James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, added: “City of York Council is committed to more devolution to the region and I see the City Deal as an important first step towards this aim. It is a significant move forward in the economic ambition for this City and positions us as a major economic player in the region.

“We must strengthen our investment in the Leeds City Region LEP through this City Deal because it is evident that growing links between our supply chains, travel to work patterns and shared markets, combined with the potential improvements in transport connectivity, will support York’s future economy”.

Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council said: “The economic assessment for York makes it clear that for York investment in infrastructure – housing, transport, site and business accommodation – is crucial to the city’s sustained growth and economic prosperity. By investing in the City Deal as part of the Leeds City Region LEP, we would see far greater return on our investment and shared economic benefits long-term.

“It is proposed that the council funds its contributions to the Revolving Investment Fund and the West Yorkshire plus York Transport Fund via the Economic Infrastructure Fund, a £28.5 million fund set up by the council to provide funding for projects of strategic importance to the city’s ambitions, in creating jobs and growing the economy.”

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