THE Government has showed ‘recognition of everything Bradford has to offer’ by shortlisting it for Treasury North’s move, the council leader has said.
Despite feeling “disappointed” by the decision to relocate 750 jobs to Darlington, councillor Susan Hinchcliffe responded to the news with optimism.
Bradford, Leeds and Newcastle had been in the final selection process with campaigners, councillors and MPs all bidding for the opportunity.
But the leader claimed that locating UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds could “benefit” Bradford and surrounding areas.
The UK Infrastructure Bank will have an initial capitalisation of £12bn and is expected to support at least £40bn of investment in infrastructure projects.
Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “Our region has the biggest financial and professional services sector outside London so it’s the right call for the Chancellor to locate the UK Infrastructure Bank here.
“This announcement will benefit not just Leeds but also Bradford and the wider region. It will bring good jobs and be an incentive for other businesses to locate here. I am obviously very disappointed that we have not been selected as the location for the Treasury’s new northern campus.
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“We have been making the case for this kind of investment in Bradford for a considerable time. The fact that we were in the running reflects the constructive discussions we’ve had with the Chancellor and his advisers and their recognition of everything our district has to offer.
“We’re a young, vibrant, dynamic and well-connected district which has been investing heavily in skills so that we can develop good quality jobs. We also have a competitively priced residential offer, great schools and are a well-served commuter hub, which will be even better if our case for a Bradford city centre Northern Powerhouse Rail station is supported in the Government’s forthcoming Integrated Rail Plan.
“The district is already attracting inward investment enquiries, with significant investment being put into redeveloping the city, as well as the recent Towns Fund bids for over £60m that we have submitted for Keighley and Shipley which we hope for positive news on soon.
“Bradford is ready to help the Government with any further planned decentralisation moves. We will continue to press for the Bradford district to be prioritised, in partnership with our neighbours across the region, to bring new public sector jobs to the area.
“Levelling up in our country is hugely important, but we need significant investment from the Government to make this a reality.”
New leader of Leeds City Council James Lewis said the new bank could boost local ambitions for a new mass transit system across the region. He said: "We have recently published our mass transit plans, which we will develop our bid for. After decades of not making progress on mass transit, hopefully having the Government’s infrastructure bank in Leeds will mean we have a sympathetic ear when it comes to some of our own projects."