PROPOSALS to promote business investment and job creation near Leeds Bradford Airport - including significant further development at the airport itself - are being backed by airport chiefs.
Senior Leeds councillors will meet next week to consider releasing land near LBA to promote and encourage local business growth and job creation as well as improved transport links.
Future expansion of LBA, which handles 3.3 million passengers a year and is one of the UK's fastest growing airports, would include a larger passenger terminal and the creation of a commercial hub made up of an 'air innovation park', airport village and an air freight park for improved cargo handling.
The air innovation park would focus on attracting research and development companies with links to higher education, while the airport village would include hotel, restaurant and retail developments.
The strategic plan also proposes offering 36.2 hectares of land in and around the airport to encourage local business expansion and attract new investment to provide new jobs, skills and training opportunities .
The meeting of Leeds City Council's executive board on July 15 follows consultation with the airport and other stakeholders, including more than 200 local employers in north west Leeds on how best to support local business growth alongside future expansion of the airport and improvements to transport links in a sustainable way with minimal environmental impact.
Transport and connectivity improvement plans include a proposed new link road through the West Yorkshire Transport Fund and a potential rail link also being considered in the longer term.
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “Releasing this land in and around the airport is vital to meet the local employment needs of the area in terms of helping established businesses grow and to encourage new jobs and skills opportunities.
“Together with the planned improvements to the airport infrastructure and the transport links, these plans show the ambition of the city to work with the airport and the local communities to bring about the maximum benefits in an ambitious but sustainable way.”
Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport aviation development director, said :"LBA fully support Leeds City Council's proposal to allocate land for employment development at the airport. It will provide an opportunity to support local business growth, attract new investment to the City region, and enhance the strategic economic role of the airport.
"The proposals also form part of a wider plan to improve transport connectivity to LBA by road and rail, combined with our continued focus on expanding international connectivity by widening our choice of air services, in order to deliver a successful, modern and vibrant gateway to the City and wider region."