COUNCILLORS have agreed funding to help transform one of the most “difficult to develop” sites in Bradford into a new Enterprise Zone.
The Bradford Council owned site off Parry Lane, the former HQ of Yorkshire Energy, has stood vacant for more than 15 years.
It is thought that the high costs of developing the brownfield site have put off any developers from taking on the land.
Recently the site, between Sticker Lane and Bowling Back Lane, was identified as one of several areas in West Yorkshire that would be earmarked as “Enterprise Zones.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority, made up of five local councils, would provide funding to help prepare the sites for future development – making them much more attractive to businesses.
Work is well underway on one Enterprise Zone in Bradford – at Gain Lane, and last year a planning application for the Parry Lane site was approved.
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Once completed, the zone would be home to 25,000 square metres of new employment space.
The Enterprise Zones sites, which will eventually also include a site at Staithgate Lane, have all remained undeveloped for years.
The Authority will be funding the Parry Lane scheme with £6.9 million, £5m of which will come from the Government’s getting building fund.
This will help create highways infrastructure into and on the site.
Work to build the units on the site is expected to be completed by 2025 – and once fully let the development is expected to have brought 489 jobs to the area and created £166 million “gross value added.”
At a meeting of the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee on Thursday morning, members gave the green light for a full business case for the site to be drawn up.
Referring to the Enterprise Zone sites, Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “These Enterprise Zone sites are some of the most difficult sites to develop in West Yorkshire.
“They are sites that have remained derelict not just for a year or two, but for a decade or two.”
Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, Executive for Regeneration, Planning and Transport on Bradford Council said: “We know there is a huge demand for employment space across the region, but particularly in Bradford.”
Wakefield Councillor Denise Jeffrey said: “We all have sites inn our area that have stood derelict.
“At this time it is more important than ever that these schemes are coming forward.”