Following the publication by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) of its first National Infrastructure Assessment, NIC Chair Sir John Armitt led a delegation to West Yorkshire to discuss the need for investment in West Yorkshire and Leeds City Region’s infrastructure.
In the Assessment, the National Infrastructure Commission recognised that investment in the National Powerhouse Rail (NPR) route is a vital strategic investment in order to deliver long overdue improvements between major cities in the North. Bradford City Council leader and West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe welcomed Sir John and his colleagues at Bradford Interchange, the planned site of an NPR station.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe walked the party through plans to develop the improve integration between bus and trains services and house a city centre Northern Powerhouse Rail station as part of the complex.
Cllr Hinchcliffe then chaired a round-table meeting at Bradford City Hall, to discuss the NIC’s recent recommendations on building a digital society, transport, housing, drought and flooding risks and carbon. The meeting also included city region politicians, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) Chair Roger Marsh OBE and private sector business representatives.
In Leeds, there was a visit to the award-winning phase one of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme at Leeds dock, which uses the UK’s first state-of-the-art moveable weir flood risk reduction technology, followed by a tour of South Banks Leeds. Covering over 250 hectares to the south of the River Aire, South Banks Leeds will generate over 35,000 jobs and more than 8,000 new homes while helping to double the size of the city centre.
And, on the final part of their tour, the NIC group were show plans to remodel Leeds Station to maximise the impact of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“We were very pleased to welcome Sir John Armitt and the National Infrastructure Commission delegation to Leeds and the region today to see the impact significant investment can have to improve people’s lives and to benefit the economy at local, regional and national levels.
“As part of our ambition to fully realise the economic potential of Leeds and the wider Leeds City Region further government support and significant investment is essential, so we very clearly reinforced that view that through working together to address the decades of underinvestment in the north everyone can benefit.”
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis