“Through the Budget, Spending Review and recent announcements, the UK Government has pledged real action on the levelling up agenda across the UK, which is positively welcomed across the region.

“Here in Yorkshire, it was brilliant to see that the Jubilee Centre in Bradford was selected as one of the projects within the Community Ownership Fund, with over £200,000 pledged investment. Yet it is crucial, that we continue to focus on reaching all corners of the UK, so it was reassuring to see that the Levelling Up Fund has identified the ten places across the region, including Doncaster and Rotherham, to benefit from almost £187 million funding.

“Further, the £5.7 bn announcement for London style transport settlements – of which £830m will support the development of an integrated transport system across West Yorkshire – and the early-stage proposals to reinstate passenger rail links between Beverley and York; Stocksbridge and Sheffield Victoria; and on the Askern Branch Line, note that true ‘levelling-up’ momentum is building.

“It is clear that levelling up must be delivered in close conjunction with the UK’s green economic recovery and across the North we are well placed to deliver this, supported by the recent announcement that the East Coast Cluster has been awarded ‘Track 1’ status, to create one of the first two carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) developments in the UK.

“Despite all the positive announcements around transport, which are truly welcomed, the mention of HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse Rail were notably absent, including the eastern leg. Here’s hoping we see fast-tracked action and further detail in the white paper later this year.”