With a proposal in place to spend more than £270million of investment on the city’s infrastructure, a seminar was held today to discuss the planned initiatives, including new rail halts, upgraded transpennine rail connections and improvements to Leeds train station, which could provide the greatest catalyst for economic growth.
Despite Leeds experiencing strong growth in its retail, property, manufacturing and digital sectors, the city still faces a significant challenge to ensure the benefits are felt across the city.
The seminar, hosted by Shulmans LLP and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, was attended by speakers from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), Legal and General Capital and Transport for the North as well as 150 invited guests from key businesses in the area.
Starting the debate, Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “The Leeds and wider city region economy is continuing to grow and develop, but what is holding it back from really flourishing is poor connectivity through slow and unreliable transport networks. The proposed £270million Leeds transport package is the first step on the way to addressing those issues in our city, but it is important to note it is just the start with much more meaningful investment in infrastructure being needed to speed up the whole process of connecting people and businesses with jobs and opportunities.
“As a city, Leeds continues to be ambitious and we know that means having a modern rapid mass transit system, so we are calling on everyone in the city and public and private sector organisations alike to work together to make the case to the government so we can get the substantial funding it would need and viable plans in place as soon as possible.”
Adrian Kemp director at WSP commented: “Leeds must be ambitious and forward-thinking in its approach to transform the city’s transport network in a way that aligns with the city’s plans for growth, both economic and in terms of population. Key to the success of any integrated transport system is an understanding of the socio-economic and demographic make-up of the areas to identify those that need better connections across the city and wider region. Put simply, it’s about connecting people to jobs through better transport links across the city region and the wider North. By starting with people first, we can future-proof our transport system, and strengthen Leeds’s offer as part of the Northern Powerhouse.”
Andrew Latchmore, Chair of the debate and Partner at Shulmans, added: “It is great to hear that a significant upgrade is planned for our city’s transport network. Delivering this alongside a complete transformation of Leeds City Station will create a world class integrated transport hub. Bringing together enhanced local and transpennine services with bus services, and eventually HS2, will take Leeds up a gear, making the city a number one choice for UK or international businesses looking for a new home.”
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Notes to editors
Shulmans is a firm of corporate lawyers with a strong reputation for high quality work, based in central Leeds. The total number employed by the firm is approximately 190 people, of whom there are 25 partners.
The firm was established in 1981, became a partnership in 1985 and an LLP in 2010. Led by Managing Partner Tim Halstead, the firm has enjoyed six successive years of double digit growth since 2010.
Internally, the firm is divided into eight units, each with its own specialist teams:
· Corporate and Commercial
· Commercial Dispute Resolution
· Commercial Property including a dedicated planning team
· Debt Recovery
· Plot Sales (primarily the sale of new dwellings on behalf of house builder clients)
· QCAS (bulk re mortgage work for banks and other institutions, sales and purchases for private clients)
· Residential Development (acquiring development sites for house builders)
· Business Support
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With 7,650 talented people in the UK and more than 42,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Manchester Metrolink, M1 Smart Motorway, the re-development of London Bridge Station, and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network. www.wsp.com/uk