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Leeds city centre ‘to double in size’ as part of new growth strategy

A new strategy has today been launched that aims to make economic growth in Leeds as inclusive as possible for all its residents.

The consultation draft for the Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy was recently approved by senior councillors, and now businesses and stakeholders will be invited to give their thoughts on the plans.

The new strategy, which will cover the period from 2017 to 2023, identifies 12 areas that put children at the heart of the city’s growth, as well as seeks to improve careers advice and opportunities for all whilst tackling low pay and driving in-work progression and productivity.

Leeds City Council also argued that communities will be better equipped to respond to economic changes through improved housing, investment in neighbourhoods and transformation of town centres.

The size of the city centre will be doubled under the new plans, adding new jobs, homes and a city park to the South Bank.

“Leeds is enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity and growth, with a vibrant, successful and resilient economy filled with innovation and enterprise,” said Cllr Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council.

“But it’s crucial that the city as a whole benefits from that success and that the people of Leeds remain at the heart of how we work with businesses and developers, both now and in the future.”

The strategy is being launched just as Leeds oversees its highest level of developments for a decade. Its tourism industry is now valued at £500m, with Leeds becoming the fifth most popular conference destination in the UK.

“Alongside partners in the private sector, our aim is to stimulate inclusive growth which reduces inequality through a strategy that provides job opportunities for everyone, brings down unemployment and increases wages,” Cllr Blake continued.

“There’s no question we need to do more to ensure everyone in the city both contributes to and benefits from the success of our economy.

“By pledging their support for this strategy and making its core values a key part of how they operate, businesses can be part of securing a more balanced, sustainable and successful Leeds economy than ever before.”

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