On behalf of all of our members, the Chamber would like to congratulate and welcome Tracy Brabin as the first ever Mayor for West Yorkshire and we look forward to working together for the benefit of our region. It is our hope that the new Mayor recognises the need to waste little time in delivering on the priorities detailed throughout her campaign, particularly on the issues of transport, skills and not least the post-Covid Economic Recovery.
Devolution, with the increased powers and additional resource, should be acknowledged as an opportunity to deliver on a robust, evidence-based, long-term economic and spatial strategy for the region; with the primary aim of delivering productivity growth. This will allow the region to move quickly in response to the needs of our business community, and act as a driver of growth and inward investment.
West Yorkshire has within it great potential to be an even more attractive economic hub, for investors both local and international. In order to realise this potential, the Chamber would urge the Mayor to commit to delivering on the much-needed upgrades to our regional infrastructure, including the plans for a new West Yorkshire mass transit scheme and the redevelopment of Leeds Bradford Airport, Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2. In line with recent government announcements we would strongly encourage the Mayor to put business at the heart of regional skills plans, allowing established local firms to voice their needs and requirements for workforce growth. West Yorkshire is an emerging hotbed for start-ups, and we hope the Mayor will look to further nurture this development by committing to programmes such as Ad:venture, a start-up support scheme delivered in partnership with the Chamber and West Yorkshire local authorities.
With elections now over we look forward to getting on with business and ensuring our regional economy goes from strength to strength.