£19m enterprise zone in Bradford could create 500 new jobs

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A £19 million new “enterprise zone” on a long empty Dudley Hill site could bring 490 jobs to the area.

The development on Parry Lane is one of three developments planned to boost employment in Bradford, and will be discussed by West Yorkshire Combined Authority next Wednesday.

Bowling Back Lane in Bradford - pic from Google

Bowling Back Lane in Bradford - pic from Google

The Council owned piece of land, a short distance from the ring road, has stood vacant for 15 years.

At Wednesday’s meeting the authority’s West Yorkshire Investment Committee will be asked to provide £540,000 funding to draw up a full business case for the site.

In total the enterprise zone, in the Bowling Back Lane area of Bradford, will cost £18.88 million, with £8 million of this coming from the Combined Authority and the rest coming from the private sector.

The Authority funding will also help prepare the site for future businesses, including improving access and the creation of a new signalised junction.

It is hoped the works will make the site much more attractive to businesses, and help kick start the area’s economy.

A planning application could be submitted as soon as March, and the aim is for the site to be fully up and running by 2025. Around seven industrial buildings could be built on the land.

Last year funding for a similar site, off Gain Lane, was approved, with ground work starting on the empty site.

A report to the authority says developing the site is “anticipated to deliver up to 16,900 sqm of commercial floorspace, capable of accommodating 489 jobs, generating up to £166 million GVA (gross value added), and a potential business rates income of approximately £5.3 million over the period to 2042.

“The scheme supports inclusive growth by developing land to unlock employment opportunities for residents across West Yorkshire and the City Region.

“Additionally, the scheme supports the regeneration of a deprived area, enhancing the local working environment.”

The funding will “deliver site enabling and de-risking works through securing outline planning permission, undertaking site remediation and infrastructure works and deliver a signalised junction and access route, to make development a more viable proposition for the private sector.”

A report to the committee adds: “The scheme will provide opportunity to deliver a new junction at Sticker Lane and highway which will improve the marketability of the site, currently unsuitable for heavy vehicles, restricting the potential of Bowling Back Lane as a major route in and out of Bradford city centre.

“The market demand assessment demonstrates that there is a lack of good quality supply of modern industrial accommodation in Bradford.”

The committee meets in Wellington House in Leeds at 11am on Wednesday.