West Yorkshire leaders engage on region's infrastructure goals

Third regional visit to gather evidence that will inform the Commission's second Assessment

Published: 6 Jul 2022

By: Rob Mallows

Tagged: ,

Leeds from the air

Yesterday (5 July) saw Commissioners up in Leeds for our third regional visit of the summer, meeting West Yorkshire leaders and businesses to better understand the city region’s infrastructure priorities.

John Armitt and Tracy Brabin

After a one-to-one meeting, Sir John Armitt and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin co-hosted a roundtable with representatives from the combined authority, Leeds City Council, and businesses responsible for key aspects of the region’s infrastructure. The importance of improved connectivity was a priority: the Commission heard about how the region planned to get the most value from planned investment in a mass transit system – part of the region’s devolution deal with government – to support wider objectives to improve productivity levels, attract new investment and raise skills across West Yorkshire.

Commissioners at a roundtable in Leeds

Commissioners also discussed West Yorkshire’s response to the challenge of carbon reduction and how the region is making use of available tools, technologies and financing opportunities to meet this goal, and shared insights from our new report on the role public transport schemes can play in tackling traffic congestion in large cities, and how such investment can be future proofed against changing working and leisure habits following the Covid pandemic.

Following the roundtable, Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said:

“The National Infrastructure Commission plays an important role in government decision making and we were keen to help them understand the challenges and the opportunities facing West Yorkshire. Today was an opportunity to showcase the infrastructure improvements we’re already making, but also to outline our vision for mass transit in West Yorkshire and the role it can play in connecting all communities to jobs and opportunities and improving our air quality. 

It was great to have a chance also to discuss how we can get the most value out of the funding we receive from West Yorkshire’s devolution deal, by working in partnership with the NIC.”  

The visit is part of a series of engagements with city regions to gather evidence in the run-up to the next National Infrastructure Assessment. As well as opportunities to engage directly with stakeholders, the Commission saw first hand a glimpse of how Leeds is addressing its ambitions to decarbonise the city.

Commissioners visiting the climate innovation project in Leeds

The Climate Innovation District under construction on the banks of the River Aire gave Commissioners the opportunity to learn more about how the city and the developers worked together to build infrastructure planning into the development of this new low carbon community, and saw how zero emissions could be better supported through measures such as innovative car-free street design and energy efficient housing design.

John Armitt speaking to an event in Leeds


Finally, North and West Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable, where Sir John discussed with local business leaders the importance of effective transport networks to the region’s ambitions for a thriving, greener economy which can support more skilled jobs in the region and beyond.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said: “West Yorkshire is as a place where industry and innovation flourishes, and effective long term planning and investment will help ensure that remains the case for decades to come. The country as a whole faces an array of challenges and opportunities in the second half of this century, and today’s visit has given us invaluable insights to inform the recommendations we’ll make in next year’s National Infrastructure Assessment.”

Share this article


Recent Articles

Commission to explore capability of local electricity grid to support renewables push
electricity substation

Commission to explore capability of local electricity grid to support renewables push

Ensuring that the network connecting homes and businesses to the electricity supply can cope with the demands of a fully electric-powered economy will be the focus of a new piece of work by the National Infrastructure Commission. The government has today (27 February) published the terms of reference for the study, which asks the Commission...

27 Feb 2024 By
We’re recruiting – Senior Policy Adviser (environment)
Floodplain near Wollaston

We’re recruiting – Senior Policy Adviser (environment)

We’re looking to recuit someone with a particular interest in water management to join our environment team and help develop policies that enables our infrastructure systems to better protect and enhance our natural environment and safeguard important natural resources in the face of climate change impacts. Based in our Leeds office, the successful candidate will...

23 Feb 2024 By
Letter to government on business models for net zero technologies

Letter to government on business models for net zero technologies

Commission Chair Sir John Armitt has written to government setting out the need to accelerate efforts to encourage private investment in the energy infrastructure pivotal to achieving net zero and energy security. In a letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Sir John highlights the importance of...

23 Feb 2024 By

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.