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News Release

Leeds

Budget 2015 - Comment from Jeff Pearey, Lead Director of the North East


Leeds, 18 March 2015 - Responding to the Chancellor's announcement that an agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for a new city deal has been made, Jeff Pearey, Lead Director, North East at property consultant JLL said:

"The issue of regional devolution moved much more rapidly than many may have initially expected and while Leeds is now following Manchester's lead, in my opinion the powers which are agreed for the city region should at least be broadly similar to what has been happening across the Pennines. We await the details on the city deal with much interest."

In response to the Chancellor's announcement that this week a comprehensive Transport Strategy for the North will be published Jeff Pearey added:

"Recent JLL research, which compared Leeds to similar sized cities in Europe, showed that its main problem is a lack of connectivity across Yorkshire and other part of the north of England. The fact that we still don't have an electrified railway on the Transpennine route is a major source of frustration for businesses and a potential barrier to investment.

"For me HS3 is more important than the delivery of HS2.  The Northern Powerhouse is a legitimate prospect - many UK and overseas investors are already turning their attention away from saturated markets in London and the South East.

"Investment into a high quality, fast and accessible rail network will begin to give Leeds the sort of commuter catchment that would help it attract more world-class companies, helping the northern cities to realise their potential."