Council to continue its role at heart of York Central development

The council’s continued role in unlocking a new generation of jobs, homes and cultural facilities in the York Central site will be considered by the Executive next Thursday (22 April).


Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the council has worked with York Central partners Network Rail, Homes England and National Railway Museum to maintain momentum and progress on the 42 hectare site.

After partners finalised the £155m funding, secured planning permission and started work on the infrastructure to unlock the site, Executive will be asked to approve changes to the way the project will be delivered and managed.

This includes the main grant holder, Homes England, taking on the delivery of the bridges, footways, cycleways, roads and other infrastructure to open up the site.

The council will also receive £3.86m from Homes England to cover the costs incurred, as the council kept the project going while awaiting £77.1m government funding.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“York Central is one of the most important and attractive regeneration sites in the country; an opportunity many towns and cities would envy.
“We know it can deliver homes, community facilities and high paid jobs that York needs. That’s why we backed the project to maintain progress throughout the pandemic and secured crucial government funding. The recent recognition of the site as a future home of civil service jobs is the latest testament to the success and importance of the project.“The shared vision and commitment of the partners, backed by both the region’s LEPs, has ensured the progress of the scheme.
“We will continue to play a key role to deliver on our shared vision – a regeneration which drives fairer, greener growth and sustainable living in the heart of the city.”

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive member for Finance and Performance, said:

"It has taken strong public sector leadership to turn York Central’s potential into a reality. This project has been discussed in the city for many years and we are now at its furthest point of development, with recent announcements proving the Executive were right to invest in this essential regenerative project. The £8.55m invested to date has ensured over £112m of external funding has been achieved to unlock this site and benefit our city. We are now seeing almost £4m of that returned to the council from Homes England to cover those upfront costs.

“Thanks to extensive public engagement, we’ve shaped a masterplan which gives York the homes, 21st Century jobs and cultural spaces the city needs. As we move into the delivery phase, the responsibility and risk now transfers to our partners. However, we are ensuring that the right arrangements are in place to deliver this scheme as quickly and effectively as possible.”

The Executive will also be asked to:• Approve new governance arrangements and note the council’s continued influence over the delivery, both within the partnership and as a planning and highways authority
• provide £150,000 to buy land next to Scarborough Bridge to allow an improved riverside walkway
• Reduce the council’s capital allocation for York Central to £41.7m, to reflect the fact that Homes England will now directly receive £100.6m direct grants.
• To agree next steps to enter contracts to deliver the York Station Gateway Scheme, which will transform the arrival experience at the front of the station on all modes of transport.
• To allocate funding of £900k to keep the expertise in place to fulfil the council’s role in the delivery of the regeneration
• To bring forward a future report on the delivery of remaining infrastructure packages, the future use of Enterprise Zone funding and the use of future S106 moneys.

York Central is being delivered in partnership by Network Rail, Homes England, National Railway Museum and City of York Council. Homes England and Network Rail have supported the development of the site through land acquisition and master planning, and they will now oversee the infrastructure projects.

The £155m funding pot secured by the York Central Partnership to deliver infrastructure to open up the site for development includes:

£77.1m funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

£23.5m of a total of £37.2m from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Leeds City Region Growth Deal, which will also fund the ambitious plans to transform the front of the railway station.

The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region.

The aim is to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4 billion a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.

On top of a £6m Local Growth Fund contribution, from the York and North Yorkshire LEP, a further £35m has been secured to be repaid using retained business rates from the York Central Enterprise Zone.

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