WAKEFIELD has missed out on the chance to attract thousands of new jobs to a government-backed Enterprise Zone – in favour of a site in Leeds.
The M62 corridor, a section of the motorway at Normanton and Pontefract, had been shortlisted to benefit from tax breaks, super-fat broadband and relaxed planning rules to attract investment.
But bosses at by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have instead recommended the Aire Valley in Leeds to become an Enterprise Zone.
Under a scheme promised by chancellor George Osborne in his March budget, 21 of the zones will be created UK-wide to help boost the economy.
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “We were pleased that the M62 corridor in Wakefield was shortlisted as a enterprise zone.
“We were one of only four and obviously we are disappointed that we have not been successful.
“However, we support the City region’s Local Enterprise Partnership’s recommendation of the Aire Valley in Leeds as the designated enterprise zone for the region.”
City region bosses have pledged to help Wakefield create new jobs, and cash generated from the Leeds zone is expected to be reinvested across the whole city region, which includes Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford.
Coun Box added: “Like all 11 councils in the city region we will now be bringing forward priorities for how this money coming into the region through the enterprise zone can be reinvested.”