The next steps for the proposed Clifton Business Park and Enterprise Zone, which could create around 1,300 jobs, will be discussed by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 15 January 2018.
The Council is working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to transform a large site at Clifton near Brighouse into a regionally significant business park and Enterprise Zone, to house Calderdale’s growing firms and attract new businesses from outside the region.
Cllr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“The site is Calderdale’s most significant opportunity to address demand for high-quality employment space. Once established, it would boost economic growth and create hundreds of jobs within around 23 business units.
“The project would also improve local air quality, ease congestion by moving traffic away from Brighouse town centre whilst bringing more opportunities to walk and cycle, and reduce flood risk to nearby homes and businesses by better managing surface water run-off onto Wakefield Road.”
The site has been designated as employment land for over 10 years, but this alone has not been enough to prompt development despite demand and the need for economic growth, which is why the Council is taking action. The developed areas will be balanced by green areas on-site, with trees, plants and wildlife.
Calderdale Council recently secured £4.5 million from the Department for Transport, which is earmarked to improve walking, cycling and road access to Clifton Business Park and reduce congestion around the site. This includes linking the A644 Wakefield Road and A643 Clifton Common.
With public land ownership, the package of funding could be used more flexibly and would bring the land forward quicker with greater certainty of delivery of this complex development site. Cabinet will be asked to approve the acquisition of the land. Whilst negotiations with the current landowners are currently underway and are the preferred approach, the Council, subject to Cabinet approval, will start the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process in case it is needed.
Cabinet Members will also be asked to approve the submission of an Outline and Full Business Case to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to release funding to buy the land and progress the development of the business park.
In December 2017 the West Yorkshire Combined Authority reserved £5.9 million of Growth Deal 3 funding for the initial phase of site development.
When the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee backed the Enterprise Zone programme in November, its chair Cllr Peter Box said:
“This investment to develop Enterprise Zones across the City Region, is a good example of what we can accomplish using our Growth Deal funding to inject much-needed cash into vital schemes that will generate growth in our economy and new jobs.”
The Cabinet meeting will take place on Monday 15 January 2018 at Halifax Town Hall from 6pm.