MAJOR business priorities will be debated next week.
Kirklees Cabinet members will be asked to approve a Business Deal which sets out the council’s business and economic priorities for the next four years.
Ideas for supporting and attracting industry and helping to create jobs include an Apprentice Hub, grants and funding pots and regenerating areas close to the M62 .
Kirklees, like all other local authorities, now directly benefits from the business rates it collects. Money previously went to the Government with a share coming back.
Council papers say: “As Cabinet will be aware, there is now a direct link between the level of business rate growth in Kirklees and the council’s share of central government funding for the council.
“So the development of an active strategy for encouraging business growth is vital.”
Among the priorities will be to support engineering and manufacturing.
They’ll also encourage businesses to tap into university assets and have listed promoting the Textile Centre of Excellence as key.
Clr Mehboob Khan, council leader , said: “The University’s Enterprise and Innovation Centre is full and it’s helping local businesses to access multi-million pound facilities at the university which would not otherwise be available for innovation and product development.
“We want to support more of this.”
The council directly supports businesses through the £1m Kirklees Job Fund and Access to Finance Job Growth Fund, as well as Leeds City Region funding.
Clr Khan added: “We recognise the strengths of the local economy and the skills of our people and that’s why we’re doing this.
“A third of the wealth created in Kirklees comes from advanced manufacturing and engineering and the manifesto seeks to build upon that.”
The Business Deal report says they will “make prestigious and accessible sites close to the M62 available to support expansion of the sector, well connected to digital infrastructure, labour markets and trade routes”.
The Deal was written before the LDF planning blueprint failed to meet the Planning Inspectorate’s approval and will need amending at July’s Full Council meeting.
It recognises the need for office space in Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Batley town centres and among the projects listed are Pioneer House in Dewsbury, as well as sites around St George’s Square .
Cooper Bridge will be a key asset for the borough with the council saying: “This will unlock significant opportunities for new investment and employment, and in the case of Cooper Bridge, will link to the manufacturing arc that flows through South Leeds, Dewsbury, Batley, Huddersfield, Brighouse and South Bradford.”
Kirklees Cabinet will consider the Business Deal at Monday’s 4pm meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall.