Today (Tue Feb 12) marks a significant milestone for Leeds Key to the North which has been established to champion the economic and social opportunities of transforming Leeds Station into a world-class transport hub at the heart of the city.
A delegation from Leeds will today travel to Westminster to deliver a clear message to Government and Shadow government transport ministers and MPs that investment in Leeds Station, with HS2 and NPR developed in tandem, is not just good for the North but vital to unlocking growth across the UK in a post-Brexit economy.
Leeds City Council leader, Cllr Judith Blake, alongside Andrew Jones MP, Andy McDonald MP, Sir Gary Verity, and other senior figures from across the public and private sectors will all speak at the event in the House of Commons to showcase why Leeds is so uniquely placed, both geographically and economically, and is key to the North’s success.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“Leeds and our train station sit at the heart of the northern economy and are absolutely essential to unlocking the North’s potential.
“We have an opportunity to create a world-class gateway that connects the 3 million people across Leeds City Region to the rest of the country and the world; through our growing and thriving airport, HS2 the first railway to be built north of London in 100 years, Northern Powerhouse Rail and local route upgrades.
“A new integrated station will also help rebalance the economy and act as the catalyst for wider regeneration opportunities within the city, not least the work that has already begun on the South Bank.
“Today we are calling on Government to recognise this incredible potential and back our ambitious plans for the station. We have established Leeds Key to the North to explain how important this vision is for realising that potential. Our ambitions also have at their heart the people of Leeds and the wider region, to bring them on the journey with us, share in the economic benefits and create a station that will support everyone to thrive.”
Leeds Key to the North has already gained the backing of business, civic and community leaders from across the city and the wider region, who all support the vision set out in the Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan, which has recently been approved by the council and submitted to government for consideration. Plans to invest in a multi-modal transport hub covering rail, bus, bike and foot are all being backed by a newly established Business Sounding Group which has been set up to ensure the voice of business is central to these plans with Leeds Chamber of Commerce leading this activity.