YP Comment: Building a future

An artists impression of a plan put forward by self-sustaining destination.
private company One Leeds for the South Bank. +PICTURE: ONE LEEDS PLC
An artists impression of a plan put forward by self-sustaining destination. private company One Leeds for the South Bank. +PICTURE: ONE LEEDS PLC
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WE know that Leeds is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities and now a new report says a whopping £13bn of construction work is coming to the City Region over the next three years.

The study, carried out by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), says new housing developments and high-profile building projects are at the heart of this huge investment.

This is not only a tremendous fillip for Leeds it is a boost, too, for surrounding towns like Castleford and Wakefield, as well as areas such as Calderdale and Kirklees, which will benefit from the ripple effect of this massive construction drive.

It is also a vote of confidence, at a time of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and concern over the faltering pound, in Yorkshire’s economy and the skills and talent we have in abundance. The challenge now is to harness this.

The CITB predicts we will need an extra 13,000 workers, bringing the region’s construction workforce to 120,000. On top of that more than 2,000 bricklayers and 3,000 painters and decorators will be required – jobs that can make a real difference to people’s lives.

Leeds College of Building is to be applauded for acting swiftly and working closely with construction firms to look at how best to meet this demand. For make no mistake, this is a huge opportunity for the region’s economy to continue to flourish. It is a sign, too, that Leeds is fulfilling its potential as a genuine Northern Powerhouse, which is good news not only for the city but the whole of Yorkshire.