Kirkstall Forge has played host to a government minister – Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, writes Jo Fiddes.
A cross-party group of councillors and MPs, along with CEG directors, came together to discuss transport infrastructure, eco-house design and CEG groups innovative Forging Futures programme.
A tour of the site included a chance to look inside a prototype eco house full of energy saving technologies, and designed in line with the company’s ethos of building communities through regeneration and redevelopment.
Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, has visited the site several times. She said it was:
“Fantastic to see the progress being made, especially in terms of the training being offered onsite to support young people into employment.”
Mr Sunak also had the opportunity to speak to tutors and trainees on the Forging Futures programme.
The Forging Futures campus was set up on site by CEG in 2017, out of a desire to provide real opportunities and sustainable pathways to employment and to tackle the skills shortage in the construction industry.
Leeds West Rachel Reeves MP said:
“The Kirkstall Forge site represents a great example of how investment in transport infrastructure can be used to unlock areas that have been historically difficult to develop.”
Councillor Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) added:
“It was a really positive meeting and it is tremendously encouraging to have senior government ministers talking to us.”
Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey, added:
“Kirkstall Forge is a prime example of sensible development. It represents the proper use of a brownfield site to provide jobs and houses we need, whilst being served by good transport infrastructure.”
CEG representatives were encouraged by the meeting, declaring that it was:
“Genuine cross party co-operation and a real interest in making things happen.”