West Yorkshire leaders agree Covid recovery plan

An updated Economic Recovery Plan for the West Yorkshire region has been unveiled, refocusing on plans for levelling up and tackling the climate emergency.  

The new document builds on previous iterations of the Economic Recovery Plan and moves the focus from rescuing our economy to re-imagining and building resilience. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority says that it aims to secure a fair, just and lasting recovery for everyone across our region, ensuring that all can benefit from our recovery.  

At the peak of lockdown, over 300,000 workers across West Yorkshire were on furlough. In addition, unemployment claims rose by 84 per cent, and apprenticeship starts also fell by 22 per cent at the start of the 2020 academic year.

To tackle the issues during the pandemic, the Combined Authority took early action by investing £13.5 million to support 10,000 individuals who are unemployed, furloughed or need to update their skills, back towards employment. The LEP and the five West Yorkshire local authorities have also continued to support residents and businesses in the region, and with support from government, have already helped to distribute over £1 billion of support to businesses.  

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I was elected as the first ever Mayor of West Yorkshire in May 2021, more than a year into a pandemic that has put West Yorkshire through some of its most challenging times in living memory. Visiting people and places across our region, I have seen up close the impact this has had on our economy and social fabric, widening inequalities of health and wealth. People in West Yorkshire have met the challenges of the pandemic with determination, resilience and togetherness. Our lasting recovery must build on this.

“Our Plan has two main areas of focus: to deliver inclusive growth for everyone across our region and ensuring that our plans tackle the climate and environment emergency. These golden threads will drive every action of this Plan – from creating 1,000 skilled green jobs, providing affordable and sustainable housing, prioritising skills and training for all, connecting people through public transport, to delivering a creative New Deal for our fantastic creative industries.  

“I am fully committed to delivering the actions contained within this Plan over the next three years as the Mayor of West Yorkshire. However, to deliver the change we seek, we need to do it collaboratively with our local authorities, partners and with businesses. Genuine government commitment to levelling up and co-investing in our region, would help us go even further. As we turn the words of ‘fair, just, and lasting’ into action, we will make big and bold steps in building a more resilient West Yorkshire.”

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The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

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