The government has just announced a new West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone.
What is an Investment Zone?
West Yorkshire is one of eight areas nationally which have been earmarked for Investment Zones, and each of these areas are recognised as having ‘high potential’ for business investment by the government.
This new Investment Zone, which will focus on supporting innovation in health, wellbeing and digital industries, means that West Yorkshire will receive government investment to boost business innovation, productivity and growth, and supporting the commercialisation of research.
What does this mean for Kirklees?
Our proposals for the Investment Zone centre on the Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor in Huddersfield, anchored by the university’s National Health Innovation Campus.
The Investment Zone will build on our existing local strengths in innovation and research, and will hopefully further strengthen the interconnectedness of local businesses, suppliers and other research institutions – extending beyond Kirklees to other Innovation Zones in Leeds, Bradford and the rest of West Yorkshire.
The government’s announcement coincided with a visit by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, to Paxman Scalp Cooling – a Huddersfield-based business pioneering the use of cryotherapy technologies to reduce risks of alopecia (hair loss) for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Paxman have worked closely with the University of Huddersfield to develop their products – exactly the kind of innovative activity which will be supported through this investment.
How does the investment work?
The government will provide the funding to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, who will share this out amongst West Yorkshire’s local authority – including us. We’ll then allocate and manage this investment within Kirklees.
We’ll be working closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to produce a more detailed business case, and to secure final approval of our plans before the funding is allocated.
Councillor Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council, says:
“The health and wellbeing sector is so important, not just for us here in Kirklees but for people all around the world. And it’s a sector where Kirklees is already making waves, not least because of the university’s National Health Innovation Campus and innovative businesses like Paxman Scalp Cooling.
“This Investment Zone will allow us to build on the fantastic research and innovation already taking place, and really put us on the map for health tech. It’s fantastic news for Huddersfield, for Kirklees, and for West Yorkshire as a whole.
“We’re excited to work closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to develop our plans further, and hopefully help local innovators deliver real, meaningful change that will transform our health and care systems in years to come.”
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, says:
“We know that devolution is working for West Yorkshire, and this new Investment Zone is further recognition of that from the government.
“Home to NHS England, our region’s digital and health tech businesses are driving forward innovation and transforming the lives of patients worldwide. “This investment is a massive vote of confidence in our top-tier universities and talented graduates, and will help our mission to build a stronger, brighter region that works for all.”