The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is the driving force for growth across the Leeds City Region – the UK’s largest economic area outside London.
The WYCA brings together the five West Yorkshire councils (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield), working alongside the business-led Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to transform the City Region economy.
This unique, partnership-led approach is leading the way nationally in delivering regional growth. The WYCA is the first combined authority nationally to combine the regional transport authority with the bodies responsible for economic development and business growth – working together as one organisation to deliver the best possible economic outcomes for the region, underpinned by a 21st Century transport network.
The WYCA is now responsible for a circa £2 billion programme of devolved government investment to boost jobs, growth and transport connectivity in the City Region. This includes the £1 billion LEP Growth Deal – the largest such settlement of any local enterprise partnership area in the country – and £1 billion West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund, alongside other local, national and European funding.
This investment – alongside a first-stage devolution deal agreed with government in March 2015, and the prospect of further devolution on the cards – marks the start of an important new phase for our organisation, providing us with the tools to begin delivering growth and jobs at a scale unprecedented in 10 years’ of economic partnership working and make a real difference to the City Region economy.
An ambitious growth plan
Both the WYCA and the LEP are working towards an ambitious, long-term Strategic Economic Plan for the Leeds City Region. This plan sets out how we, working with our partners in the public, private and third sectors, will deliver growth and thousands of new jobs over the next 20 years. Our ultimate goal is to make the City Region a positive, above-average contributor to the UK economy.
- Growing businesses (including business support and inward investment activities delivered via the LEP)
- Skilled people, better jobs
- Clean energy and environmental resilience
- Infrastructure for growth (including transport, housing and digital infrastructure)
Central to our plan is the concept of good growth – ensuring everyone who lives, works and does business in our City Region can feel the benefits of a strong economy.
Investment and governance
We’re investing the £1bn LEP Growth Deal funding in projects and programmes that will create thousands of new jobs over the next six years and beyond. These projects include housing and regeneration developments, upgrades to further education (FE) college facilities and programmes to support business growth.
Unlike anywhere else in the country, we secured a 20-year transport funding settlement as part of our Growth Deal that has enabled us to put in place a £1 billion Transport Fund to invest in transport projects that will contribute to economic growth and job creation.
In addition to Growth Deal investment, we are also responsible for setting the strategic direction for €390 million of European investment, and funding for apprenticeships and business support and apprenticeships secured through our first-stage devolution deal in March 2015.
Decisions on investment priorities are made by the Combined Authority Board and business-led LEP board. These Boards are supported by a series of committees and a single officer body.
The CA has taken over the transport services work previously delivered by the Integrated Passenger Authority (ITA) and Passenger Transport Executive (PTE). Providing high quality transport services that improve passengers’ travel experience remains an important part of our work. This includes:
- running bus stations and travel centres under the Metro brand
- operating passenger information services including the MetroLine call centre, Metro websites and the yournextbus real-time service.
- works with the region’s bus and train operators to bring about improved services and better value for money on behalf of local people
- subsidising local bus and train services and funding concessionary fares for young people, disabled and blind people and seniors
- operating MCard, the largest travel smartcard scheme of its kind outside London