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Over £24m of government investment secured for major Morley transformation plan

A major regeneration plan for Morley, which was informed by residents and produced by a partnership of local businesses and community representatives, has secured £24.3m in funding from the government’s Towns Fund.

Developed by the Morley Town Deal Board with support from Leeds City Council, the Town Investment Plan was designed to help transform the area and deliver on local priorities identified in last year’s large-scale public consultation.

Addressing areas such as jobs, skills, greenspaces, sustainable travel and bringing cherished buildings back into use, the projects to be funded as part of the Town Investment Plan are:

  • The New Pavilion Skills Campus, which will see the historic site transformed into a high-quality adult skills hub.
  • A heritage investment fund, targeting improvements to prominent town centre buildings through restoration and re-use, as well as business support.
  • The White Rose Innovation Hub, creating new enterprise and learning spaces as well as a high-quality smart cities development centre for the town.
  • Connecting Morley, delivering a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade, with a focus on active travel routes connecting residents with opportunities to learn, work and exercise.
  • The Morley Station Gateway, building upon Network Rail investment to better connect the train station to the town centre and wider area.
  • A Greener Town, providing new and upgraded greenspace across Morley, tackling local air quality and health challenges.
  • Work on Morley Town Hall and Town Square, delivering a high-quality refurbishment of the Grade I listed building and developing a cluster of arts and culture spaces.

Work will now begin on developing these approved projects in further detail over the next twelve months. As part of this, the Town Deal Board and the council will continue to engage with local residents and businesses to ensure the proposals meet the needs of the community.

In the meantime, a number of smaller projects, made possible by early funding from government to kickstart longer term growth plans for Morley, are set to be completed in the coming months.

This work is focused across the town centre, with public artwork planned alongside improvements at Morley Bottoms, on Queen Street and in Scatcherd and Lewisham parks.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said:

“I am delighted to see this investment pledged to help Morley build on its esteemed history, better connecting the town, developing the skills and opportunities for its residents, and enhancing its greenspaces for future generations to come.

“This past year has been extremely challenging for many residents and local businesses in Morley due to Covid-19, but I hope the major investment in the area, one which could not have been possible without their views and ideas, will help support the town to recover and look forward to a successful, thriving future. I am excited for these projects to be developed further in the coming months.”

Andrea Jenkyns, Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood, said:

“The announcement in the budget represents an exciting moment in the story of Morley with the government investing over £24 million into our town. From developing jobs and skills in the area to growing our greenspaces and sustainably connecting the town, this diverse range of projects will help transform Morley for years to come.

“I am excited to see how these projects develop and truly believe that they will deliver on the vision laid out for the future of Morley as part of the Town Investment Plan.”

Gerald Jennings, Chair of the Morley Town Deal Board, said:

“This announcement marks an important and exciting moment for Morley, both as a historic town and as a vibrant community. Our investment plan could not have been possible without the views of local residents and businesses, and it is clear that their passion to build proudly on our town’s history and unique identity has been heard.

“Having only submitted our bid at the end of January, we are delighted to see the compelling nature of our proposals rewarded so swiftly, and look forward to working with our partners and the community to ensure we deliver on the vision we all share for what Morley can be.”