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Senior councillor considers plans to make York Central work for the city

A council report has mapped out how the York Central development can raise average wages, create and retain jobs for all skill levels while providing space for York businesses to grow.

Executive member for economy and strategic planning Councillor Andrew Waller will consider what types of employers the council is encouraging the wider York Central Partnership to attract at his decision-session on Monday 9 September.

The council report outlines how the regeneration of the 44 hectare site can build on York’s buoyant economy and record employment rates.

If approved, the proposals will form a brief to the council partners and major landowners, Network Rail and Homes England, as they seek occupiers for the site.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning, said:

“York is an economic centre worth £5.2bn to the UK economy, with 9000 businesses and 110,000 people employed across the city.

“York Central gives us the opportunity to build on that success while creating opportunities for more residents to build well-paid careers in their home city.

“We need to offer a clear brief to our partners so that this regeneration makes York Central an even better place to live and work, driving clean growth and up to 6500 better paid jobs.”

The site’s 90,000m² of office space should aim to provide:

  • the high quality commercial space to attract the higher paid jobs in sectors which can’t currently find a home in York;
  • spaces for a mix of different business sizes, including 6-8 well-established large companies, space for 20 companies of around 100 people as well as space for smaller companies and start-ups;
  • space for key growth sectors in York which include companies in the technology, financial services, insurance, rail engineering and biotech sectors;
  • co-working and serviced office accommodation to meet growing demand across the region, and
  • provide a visible presence for the city’s universities, especially supporting research connections with the National Railway Museum

The 44 hectare brownfield site has exceptional transport links, access to one of the most skilled workforces in the country and has been designated an ‘Enterprise Zone’, offering even greater incentives for businesses to locate there.

The York Central Partnership (YCP) members, Homes England, Network Rail, the National Railway Museum and City of York Council, have been working collaboratively for the past four years to develop proposals to unlock the potential of the brownfield site.

The partnership has secured planning approval for its outline planning application and assembled a potential £155m funding package for infrastructure works.

This includes £23.5m of a total of £37.2m from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Leeds City Region Growth Deal, which will also fund the ambitious plans to transform the front of the railway station.

The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region. The aim is to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4 billion a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.

City of York Council has also received a Local Growth Fund contribution of £6m, and agreed to borrow £35m from York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP to be repaid using retained business rates from the York Central Enterprise Zone.

The council’s £77.1m bid for the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund is at an advanced stage, with a decision expected in the autumn.

The approved outline planning application includes proposals to build up to  2,500 homes, 20 per cent of which will be affordable, and a commercial quarter creating up to 90,000m2 office space for around 6,500 jobs and adding a £1.16 billion boost to the economy.

The decision session takes place at 14:00 on Monday 9 September at West Offices and will be webcast live atwww.york.gov.uk/webcasts. To read the report visit https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=735&MId=11428&Ver=4