COUNCILLORS from five West Yorkshire Councils have agreed to spend £2 million to encourage a London company to expand into Leeds.
The identity of the company has yet to be revealed, but West Yorkshire Combined Authority says it could create hundreds of local jobs and add millions to the West Yorkshire economy.
Without financial support the business would likely move to another area – according to the a report into the proposals.
At a meeting on Thursday, West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee were asked to approve spending £2m from the body’s “Strategic Inward Investment Fund” towards the overall £13.6m expansion into Leeds.
The request was approved without any debate or discussion among members, beyond the basic detail included in the report.
The report said that if the business moves to Leeds, it will create 400 full time jobs and 400 part time jobs by 2026 and have a “significant economic impact” on the local economy.
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Members heard that Leeds was one of three possible locations, and is said to be the preferred location.
But the report added: “There are greater financial incentives available to locate in one of the other locations, with the company stating that it has had a verbal indication that grant support of 30 per cent of the eligible project costs will be made available to secure the investment there. Without support from SIIF funding there is a significant risk that the company will establish its facility elsewhere.”
The Company’s board will make the decision if they want to proceed with the project this month.