KIRKLEES is well-placed to benefit from any upturn in the economy as part of the Leeds City Region, it is claimed.
The region, which encompasses Kirklees, Calderdale, Leeds and eight other local authority districts is set to benefit from major improvements to the rail network and signs of an upturn in the property sector.
Kevin Bramley, senior director of development and head of the northern development consultancy at property agency CB Richard Ellis, was speaking in the run-up to a major property convention to be held on Thursday in Leeds.
The event will provide a showcase exhibiting current and future locations for investment and highlight the regions advantages including its population of 3m, its 1.4m-strong workforce, its 100,000-plus businesses and its economy worth £46bn a year.
Mr Bramley said forthcoming improvements to the rail networks notably Network Rails plans to enhance trans-Pennine services and excellent road links stood the region in good stead to capitalise on a returning market.
He said: Undoubtedly, the whole region has felt the impact of the challenging economic climate and looking at the development arena.
There has been limited activity and take-up levels of existing accommodation have not been favourable.
However, the movement that occurred last year at the smaller end of the market, with 83% of all office deals sub-5,000sq ft, will impact upwards and as stock levels reduce and incentives tighten headline rents will become more robust.
There are also a number of more sizeable office requirements circulating the market.
Mr Bramley said factors which could put the region in the spotlight for investors included improvements to Leeds railway station and the expected contribution of recent development schemes in Halifax and Wakefield.
And he added: If Leeds United were to secure a position in the Premiership and maybe even Huddersfield Town into the Championship this would give the whole region a great boost with benefits filtering into a whole range of sectors.
In summary, the Leeds City Region has a lot of offer with a robust economy, ingenuity for developing flagship buildings, a good offering of commercial stock and viable plans for improving infrastructure all of which place it in a strong position for future prosperity.
Leeds City Region covers Kirklees, Calderdale, Barnsley, Bradford, Craven, Harrogate, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council.