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Investment Zone announcement

Doctors and Nurses stood in an operating room.
The government have approved our plans for major health industry investment.

The government have just approved our proposals for the new West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone.

This is great news which continues to build on billions of pounds of planning investment across Huddersfield, including major transformative projects such as the council’s Huddersfield Blueprint, the Transpennine Route Upgrade and further government regeneration funding.

What is the West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone?

In November last year, the government announced a new ‘Investment Zone’ for Kirklees and wider West Yorkshire, which will focus on supporting innovation in the health, wellbeing and digital industries.

This means that alongside other local authorities across West Yorkshire, we’re set to receive government investment to boost innovation, productivity and growth, and support the commercialisation of important research in these areas.

This investment is because the government have recognised Kirklees and wider West Yorkshire as being a region of ‘high potential’.  Since the funding was announced in November, we’ve been working closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to provide the government with a detailed business plan for the funding.

What are our plans?

Our plans for the Investment Zone will build on Kirklees’ existing local strengths in innovation and research, and will aim to help develop a strong cluster of interconnected businesses, suppliers and local research institutions, extending beyond Kirklees to other Investment Zone sites across Kirklees, Bradford and the rest of West Yorkshire.

The proposals we put forward centre on our Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor – a scheme of work that’s all about boosting economic development in Huddersfield, creating new opportunities for businesses to grow and develop, and more high quality jobs for local people.  This corridor stretches from Huddersfield Railway Station to the John Smith’s Stadium, anchored by the new National Health Innovation Campus (NHIC).

Aerial view of the plans.

The NHIC is a transformative project led by the University of Huddersfield, which is set to improve health outcomes and lead innovation in healthcare for the north of England, the UK and internationally.

Mock-up image of the National Health Innovation Campus.

The new campus will deliver a mix of world-class research, teaching and public health facilities, including clinical diagnostics, skin integrity and infection prevention.

Doctors and Nurses stood in an operating room.

The Investment Zone programme will speed up work on the NHIC, and bring forward other sites for potential investment within that area to attract more businesses looking to colocate and benefit from links to the campus.  We’ll also be investing in key infrastructure to unlock barriers to development, and improving links for pedestrians and cyclists across the area.

Revenue funding will also provide more business and innovation support for organisations in the health and digital sectors.

This support will build on some brilliant local programmes which have already received government funding, including the university’s Health Innovation Partnership and ‘Thrive’ – a new programme to support brand new businesses and entrepreneurs in the health and wellbeing industry, which is kicking off in April.  Thrive will be based at the Glass Box, the flagship business centre for Business Kirklees (that’s our business support service), which sits right next to the NHIC!  Both of these projects are already funded by the government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

What happens now?

Now that our proposals for the Investment Zone have been approved, we’ll continue to work really closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to agree how each of these individual areas will move forward.  We expect some of these things to kick off later this year!

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