A £20 million funding bid to regenerate five West Leeds parks and breathe new life into Armley Town Street will “deliver meaningful transformation, driving economic growth forward and tackling health and wellbeing inequalities”, a senior councillor has said.
As previously reported by WLD, 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.
The bid, submitted last month, would also deliver a revitalised Armley Town Street that prioritises public transport and pedestrians with new public realm improvements.
Leeds City Council has submitted six constituency bids totalling £120.8 million as part of the round two Levelling Up Fund to deliver transformational change for communities across Leeds.
The ambitious proposals would, if successful, allow the council to deliver on the government’s levelling up agenda building on the Morley town deal and connecting West Leeds funding through investment in parks, transport infrastructure, high streets, and local economies across six parliamentary constituencies which have not yet received levelling up or towns deal funding.
Councillor Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “The six bids that we have submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, offer a unique opportunity for the department to deliver meaningful transformation, driving economic growth forward and tackling health and wellbeing inequalities.
“As a council we are committed to working with the government on all six projects to help transform local areas and I believe all six projects will if successful will make a real difference to residents across Leeds”
Councillor James Lewis Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We have put together six ambitious bids and they represent a real opportunity to build on the great work taking place across Leeds to regenerate our local communities, delivering 21st century infrastructure and create meaningful jobs.”
The six bids
- In Leeds Central, the bid aims to deliver transformative change in Holbeck that will renew essential local infrastructure, transform the local community centre, deliver high quality public realm and green space enhancements, and deliver green retrofit property repairs.
- The bid for Leeds West will deliver quality greenspace enhancements across five community parks, enhance active travel connections, and deliver a revitalised high street in Armley that prioritises public transport and pedestrians with new quality public realm improvements.
- Redevelopment of the existing Fearnville Leisure Centre into a 6,000 m² wellbeing centre forms the focus of the bid in Leeds East, allowing for the revitalisation of a rapidly deteriorating facility to serve some of the most deprived communities in Leeds.
- In Elmet and Rothwell, the bid delivers a series of linked habits in a coherent connected corridor activating the River Aire. This includes the creation of a much needed new visitor welcome building at the RSPB St Aidan’s nature reserve.
- For North West Leeds a package of two intrinsically linked projects have been submitted as part of the bid, which will invest in transport infrastructure to accelerate the delivery of and unlock the benefits of the 90-acre North West Leeds employment hub site.
- Finally, in North East Leeds the bid aims to prioritise sustainable transport options through a new park and ride site and the provision of high-quality segregated walking, cycling, and dedicated bus infrastructure along one of the main corridors, better sustainably connecting North East Leeds with the city centre and relieving the communities along the corridor.
What happens next?
The bids will now be evaluated by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with bid outcomes expected to be announced alongside the autumn statement.
In total, the ambitious plans could deliver £186 million worth of investment, including a £8.7m match funding contribution from Leeds City Council and a further £56.3 million from partners and grants, designed to deliver economic growth, address health and wellbeing inequalities, and transform pride of place in communities.
The bids follow 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.