By John Baron
A £20 million bid to Government for improvements to five West Leeds parks and a scheme to breathe new life into Armley Town Street WILL be submitted to the government, senior councillors agreed today.
Members of the council’s decision-making executive board agreed to put forward six potential bids worth more than £100 million in total to the second round of the Government’s Levelling Up fund.
As previously reported, the Leeds West bid is called ‘Green, Healthy and Connected’. It proposes improvements to Armley, Bramley Falls, Kirkstall Abbey Park, Stanningley and Wortley’s Western Flatts parks, alongside improvements to the walking and cycling routes that connect them.
Leeds City Council has also included a scheme to revitalise the Armley Town Street area as part of the bid, which will be submitted to government early next month.
Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate Councillor Helen Hayden (Lab, Temple Newsman) said the ‘very significant investment’ would, if the bids were approved, lead to ‘significant regeneration’.
She acknowledged local concerns that due to the bids needing to be quickly assembled some proposals hadn’t had the level of public consultation she would have liked, but said local people would be heavily involved at the detailed design stage.
Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Stewart Golton (Rothwell) welcomed the six bids, following Morley securing £24m of government town centre regeneration money last March and Pudsey constituency being awarded £20m for outer ring road improvements from phase one of the levelling up fund last October.
Cllr Golton said the bids would provide ‘equity of access’ to government funding. “I trust that each will have detailed feedback from Government if they are unsuccessful,” he added.
Conservative group leader Councillor Andrew Carter (Calverley & Farsley) said he understood why the council was submitting six bids, but questioned whether putting so many bids in may jeopardise their success. He also questioned whether the council needed to prioritise the bids and flag up the most pressing.
Leeds City Council’s director city development, Martin Farrington, said all six schemes were very different so would be examined by different government departments, with each bid judged on its own merits.
Council chief executive Tom Riordan added that if the government came back and asked the council to prioritise, the matter would be brought back to the executive board. “We have followed the process,” he added.
The six bids submitted to government are
- Leeds East – ‘Fearnville Well Being Centre’
- Leeds West – ‘Green, Healthy and Connected’
- Leeds Central – ‘Heart of Holbeck’
- Leeds North West – ‘North West Leeds Employment Hub’
- North East – ‘Alwoodley Park & Ride and A61 Bus Corridor’
- Elmet & Rothwell – ‘Elmet & Rothwell Green Routes’
The full agenda and council documents can be read in full here. The meeting was streamed live and can be watched in full here: