Investment boost planned for Brighouse

Cllr Barry Collins

Two schemes which could deliver millions of pounds worth of investment in south east Calderdale have moved a step closer, following a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee (9 November).

Calderdale 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, whilst also attracting new businesses from outside the region. Once established the new Enterprise Zone could bring hundreds of new jobs to Calderdale over the coming years.

The Combined Authority Investment Committee backed proposals to invest further in developing the City Region Enterprise Zone programme, including an eventual £5.9m in the site at Clifton. The combined funding value of the programme is £20m. 

Brighouse is also set to benefit from a £52.4m scheme to develop the A641 from Bradford to Huddersfield.  This would significantly improve journey times between the M62 and Brighouse; helping to boost economic growth and improve the town’s road network.

The proposed A641 scheme has reached the next stage of development with the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee backing proposals to fund up to £600,000 to develop more detailed plans.

Funding of £4.5m has now been earmarked from the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to create highway and other infrastructure, providing improved access for vehicles and pedestrians.  This represents the first step in developing the area and will be followed by further projects which will unlock the full potential of this challenging site.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Barry Collins said:

“Because of its location Brighouse has huge potential for significant economic growth over the next five to ten years, and could see the creation of the second largest Enterprise Zone in the M62 corridor.

“We have a massive opportunity now, thanks to investment from the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund, the Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, to create new jobs and major improvements to our transport infrastructure which will help our local businesses to thrive.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:

“Investment in the Enterprise Zones programme backed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has the potential to deliver 230 hectares of employment land and more than 15,000 jobs by 2025 – a significant boost to the Leeds City Region economy.

“The sites will give businesses looking to invest in Enterprise Zones access to advanced and innovative manufacturing opportunities along the M62 corridor while also supporting the wider manufacturing and logistics sector.”

Following an application by the Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the employment site at Clifton was granted Enterprise Zone status by the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of a multi-site Leeds City Region Enterprise Zones development which covers locations along or near to the M62.

The aim of the Zones is to bring forward employment space and encourage businesses to expand or relocate in Calderdale, with support for occupiers that can include a period of free business rates or allowances for capital investment.

Covering 23 hectares of prime development land, the Clifton site is one of the largest of the nine new sites included in the Leeds City Region Zones. The development of the site will take several years to complete, with a careful balance between creating new employment space, much needed jobs and enhancing the local environment.

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