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A look back at UKREiiF 2023: attracting investment for Kirklees

Group of people stood around a table discussing their plans.
Last week Business Kirklees attended a national event to showcase the exciting wealth of opportunities for development in Kirklees.

This has been a great chance to encourage more investment into Kirklees from further afield. 

What’s the event?

The  UK Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum  (UKREiiF) is an annual forum aimed at driving economic growth and investment across the UK.

It’s attended by organisations and businesses from across the UK and beyond.  This has been a great opportunity for us to connect with new potential investors and partners. These could support us in making Kirklees’ future even better and brighter, bringing more business into the area and boosting our economy.

This week we’ve opened up lots of discussions about financial investment. This includes new opportunities for partnership working and businesses potentially looking to base themselves in Kirklees.

What did we showcase?

Alongside lots of investment opportunities in local developments, we’ve also been shouting about some of the amazing large-scale transformational projects we’ve got going on – or coming up soon – across Kirklees.  This includes Our Cultural Heart, the blueprints, the University of Huddersfield’s National Health Innovation Campus, and Network Rail’s Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, spoke on several panel sessions throughout the week, as did David Shepherd, our Strategic Director for Growth & Regeneration.

Encouraging investment in Kirklees

We hosted a session about Kirklees’ infrastructure and connectivity, alongside representatives from the TRU, the University of HuddersfieldCityFibre and Thirteen Group.

We discussed how Kirklees is perfectly placed between Leeds, Manchester and the Sheffield City Region. Our connections with the rest of the north and beyond are only set to improve over the coming years.

This, combined with fabulous graduates we have coming up through the University of Huddersfield and other great colleges, plus Kirklees’ great digital connectivity supported by organisations like CityFibre, makes Kirklees a great place for anyone to invest in or base their business.  And to support this, we have lots of quality, affordable housing in the works through partnerships with ethical developers like Thirteen Group.

David Shepherd said:

“Our ambitious plans to see hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across our key urban centres will ensure the people who live, work and own their own businesses there continue to go from strength to strength.”

The bigger picture

Cllr Pandor also spoke about the bigger picture as Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, led talks on how our different local authorities are working together to make sure we’re delivering the best for both our residents here in Kirklees and the people of West Yorkshire as a whole.

Here at Kirklees Council, we already work closely with other local authorities – including Calderdale Council, Bradford Council, Wakefield Council and Leeds City Council – to deliver many schemes which benefit not just our residents but others across West Yorkshire.  We’ll continue to work to strengthen those relationships in future.

Cllr Pandor said:

“It’s vitally important we support entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation to grow a successful and sustainable economy.”

Green agenda

The green agenda was another hot topic this year, and we looked both at how we’re currently tackling global warming and what more we might achieve in the future through partnership working.

A new report from Key Cities calls for the government to clearly define the responsibilities of local authorities like ours in achieving the national target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (which means we’d be removing just as much carbon from the atmosphere as we’re putting into it).  The report also calls for devolved funding for local areas like ours, and more support in upskilling our workforces.

Key Cities’ report is called ‘Levelling Up, Emissions Down’.

Cllr Pandor said

“Government, local government and partners- we all need to work together to achieve net zero… Local authorities like Kirklees play a vital role.  We’ve invested £7million in greening our fleet and made innovative efforts to make homes more energy efficient”

David Shepherd, Strategic Director for Growth and Regeneration said:

“UKREiiF presents a key opportunity to showcase the scale and pace of regeneration in Kirklees.

“Our strong vision for the future, our partnership collaboration, and our forward-thinking approach to development and sustainable growth has helped realise over £1billion of planned investment in private and public infrastructure over the next five years.

Kirklees is already home to thriving precision engineering, advanced manufacturing and textiles industries.  We’ll draw on these industry strengths, as well as local talent and the district’s fantastic heritage and culture, its innovation and entrepreneurship, to showcase Kirklees’ strengths as a place to do business.

We believe that Kirklees is an ideal destination for businesses looking to invest and expand, and we’re eager to share that message with investors from around the world.”

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