West Yorkshire is a diverse and polycentric economy in the North of England made up of Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, and Wakefield. This is an innovative region with diverse strengths in digital, healthcare and finance, with seven world class universities.
The city region is home to some of the most prosperous neighbourhoods in the UK, but some are amongst the poorest and have not benefitted from growth.
The first mission in the West Yorkshire Plan 2040 is ‘A prosperous West Yorkshire – an inclusive economy with well-paid jobs’. There is a strong focus on raising productivity and living standards, boosting skills, providing good quality work, and encouraging diverse and inclusive workforces.
Here are some of the ways that West Yorkshire is delivering inclusive growth in practice:
Culture and inclusive growth
The £1.7m ‘You Can Make It Here’ programme provides business support and skills training for the creative industries, culture, heritage and sport sector. The combined authority is investing in Skills Bootcamps and Skills Connect to meet the needs of the creative sector. Other investments include £500k in Creative Health initiatives, £500k for a new Local Visitor Economy Partnership and Year of Culture programmes in each local authority.
Fair Work Charter
A joint venture between the Mayor, partners, key stakeholders and businesses to develop a way of setting a clear and ambitious standard for fair work. This work is in development.
Cost of Living Emergency Fund
A £3m package, to support economically vulnerable workless households and those experiencing in-work poverty to meet basic needs such as food, heating, mental health support and financial advice. The fund is delivered via the region’s five local authorities through their established networks of voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations.