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Three major strategic projects where partnership has made all the difference

05/08/2021 Blog

This month with are celebrating collaboration in our P=Partnership campaign. Our COO James Farrar shares three major strategic projects from across York & North Yorkshire where partnership has made all the difference:

1. York Central

York Central is one of the largest city centre brownfield regeneration sites in England, and will drive significant growth in York and the wider region. This 45-hectare mixed-use site has secured both Housing Zone and Enterprise Zone status, making it one of the most commercially attractive sites in England. The site will deliver 1.2m sq. ft. of commercial development, including 80% Grade A offices alongside a £55m expansion of the National Railway Museum. In total, York Central will create 6,500 jobs.  York Central has been many, many years in the making. When the LEP awarded the site Enterprise Zone status, we did so knowing that regeneration of this site could have major economic impact for the city and the region as a whole. The York Central Partnership has made the difference. Their work is driving the York Central site from potential to delivery. The partnership includes Network Rail, Homes England, National Railway Museum, and City of York Council. Homes England and Network Rail have supported development of the site through land acquisition and master planning and will now oversee the infrastructure projects. This infrastructure work is part of a wider £155m funding pot secured by the York Central Partnership, which will help open up the site for development. This £155m funding pot is also a testament to a partnership approach and shared vision for the site. The fund includes: £77.1m funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government £23.5m from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund On top of a £6m Local Growth Fund contribution from the York & North Yorkshire LEP, and a further £35m secured from the York Central Enterprise Zone in lieu of retained business rates I am truly excited to see York Central come to fruition. It is a game changer and reveals the huge ambition within our region.

2. The Potash mine – now Anglo-American

Back in 2015, the LEP under the leadership of the late Barry Dodd CBE,worked in partnership with York Potash, the local authorities and the national parks to secure a £1.7bn investment onto the North Yorkshire coast. The Polyhalite mine will produce approximately 2.96 billion tons of natural fertiliser over the next 100 years. A true partnership approach that has created a lasting and powerful legacy for our coastal communities and our regional economy. Anglo-American and the Sirius Minerals Foundation have committed to building skills and opportunity within the local population, leading to hundreds of jobs for local people. They are also committed to building a localised and sustainable supply chain and investing in the environment and landscapes of the North Yorkshire Coast and Moors. It is anticipated that the mine could raise the region’s economy by over 6%, £1bn per year. Just a few weeks ago, I took part in a BBC Radio 4 series about Scarborough. There is so much opportunity brimming on the coast and it is a testament to the public and private sector working together that area that has continued to deliver. This is  evidenced by the recent Scarborough and Whitby Town deals, where a partnership approach has been pivotal.

3. Dalton Industrial Estate

Coined as a ‘last mile’ investment, the £4.1m redevelopment project of Dalton Bridge, near Thirsk, was an example of a true public-private sector partnership. The construction, which replaced a flood-blighted bridge, provided a more resilient, higher level route to the Dalton Industrial Estate, allowing the road to remain passable (except in the most extreme of floods) and greatly improve access to the industrial estate. The LEPs relatively small, hyper-locally focussed capital investment, £1.6m secured from the government’s Local Growth Fund, allowed the project to come to fruition alongside the partnership fund brought together by the businesses on the Dalton Industrial Estate, Hambleton District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the Environment Agency. The project demonstrated a true collaboration between public and private sector and highlighted the significant impact this can have. Ensuring that the businesses were able to operate and grow from this site safeguarded 126  and creating around 137 new jobs and enabled further private investment of over £20m. It also opened up adjoining sites for further re-development. It is not always big numbers that are needed to make a difference. However, partners coming together, to work with passion and focus for local communities, always does.   Where to next? We are at a pivotal time for our region. As we emerge from the economic crisis of the pandemic, looking ahead to huge changes in local authority organisation and the real opportunity for devolution, partnership has never been more crucial and fundamental to future success. As a LEP, we are committed to prioritising partnership. We know from experience that working together benefits our economy andensures that local places are brought every opportunity to grow and prosper. Looking ahead, some major partnership projects can add real value to our region. BioYorkshire will position the region at the forefront of the global bioeconomy, bringing major investment and jobs to the region, whilst our Routemap to Carbon Negative is about the whole region working together to deliver the changes needed to address climate change whilst creating new opportunities for the region. And of course, we are determined to bring home devolution for York & North Yorkshire. We can get there by working together.
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