Leeds places bid for £120 million in Levelling Up funding

If successful, this could amount to £186 million worth of investment in Leeds.

Leeds City Council has submitted multiple funding bids for six constituencies to receive funding to transform communities across Leeds.

The Levelling Up Fund is now in its second round, and Leeds City Council hopes to receive a portion of the funding to dedicate to areas like Morley, Armley, Holbeck, the River Aire corridor and further out into the North East and North West of Leeds.

The plans could see a total of £186 million worth of investment: up to £120 million from the Levelling Up Fund, then a further £56.3 million from partners and grants for economic growth, health and wellbeing inequalities, and a £8.7m match funding contribution from Leeds City Council.

In a press release, Leeds City Council explained that there were six bids in total, and each would target a different area of Leeds’ development:

The Leeds Central bid aims to renew Holbeck’s local infrastructure, including a transformation of the local community centre, green spaces and deliver green retrofit property repairs.

Armley Gyratory / Image: Leeds City Council

Leeds West’s bid would also focus on green spaces with development across five community parks, travel connections, and the high street in Armley that prioritises public transport and pedestrians.

North West Leeds has focused on a package of two “intrinsically linked” projects that would invest in transport infrastructure as a way of making the 90 acre North West Leeds employment hub site more accessible.

Similarly, the bid for North East Leeds prioritises transport by looking to offer new sustainable methods of travel. This would include options through a new park and ride site and the provision of high-quality segregated walking, cycling, and dedicated bus infrastructure along one of the main corridors. This area was chosen to “connect North East Leeds with the city centre and relieving the communities along the corridor” in an increasingly eco-friendly way.

Read More: Leeds parks could receive share of £9 million Levelling Up funding

The existing Fearnville Leisure Centre would also see a 6000 m² wellbeing centre as part of the Leeds East bid. The council has stated that this would be an important part of “allowing for the revitalisation of a rapidly deteriorating facility to serve some of the most deprived communities in Leeds”.

The bid for Elmet and Rothwell, is all about linking the River Aire through a “coherent connected corridor”, focusing on creating a new visitor welcome building at the RSPB St Aidan’s Nature Reserve.

St Aidan’s Nature Reserve. / Image: RSPB

Councillor James Lewis Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We have put together six ambitious bids and they represent a real opportunity to build on the great work taking place across Leeds to regenerate our local communities, delivering 21st Century infrastructure and create meaningful jobs.

“The scale and ambition of the bids also reflect the incredible amount of work put into their development and I must extend a sincere thank you to teams from Asset Management and Regeneration, Highways and Transportation, and Parks and Countryside along with their partners and consultants.”

Now that the bids have been submitted, the proposals will be evaluated by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The outcome of the bids is expected to be announced with the Autumn statement.

Feature Image- Leeds City Council

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