Calderdale Council is progressing its longstanding ambition to transform a large site in Clifton into a thriving business park, to create 1,300 jobs and major benefits for Calderdale and West Yorkshire.

In line with the Council’s priority for thriving towns and places, the proposed Clifton Business Park would support economic growth, bring opportunities for local people and businesses, and build on the significant level of aspiration in Calderdale.

The Council has been seeking funds to make the land viable for sustainable development. Following unsuccessful bids for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund grants, the Council has now launched a tender to potentially bring a specialist developer on board as a partner with expertise to ensure the delivery of commercial units at Clifton Business Park.

If the tender process results in a suitable joint venture, the developer would work alongside the Council to finance and manage the design, planning, construction and marketing of the scheme. They would work together to explore ways to maximise the value of the scheme and combine their individual expertise to deliver maximum benefit to local and regional businesses.

The Council remains confident in the potential of Clifton Business Park because undeveloped new employment land of this scale, with its vast range of distinctive qualities, is rare. The site already has planning permission, there is high demand from businesses to locate there, and it’s close to the M62. There is also a strong local workforce and Brighouse town centre nearby. As an Enterprise Zone, Clifton could be transformational, making a large impact across the entire borough and West Yorkshire region. Enterprise Zones are designated areas aimed at new and expanding firms that provide tax breaks and Government support.

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“We want people to feel pride in the place where they live and do business, and a key part of this is the Council’s commitment to support all parts of Calderdale to thrive. We also want to build on our borough’s strong contribution to the wider West Yorkshire economy.

“The proposed Clifton Business Park – a major regeneration project – aims to do just that. It’s an example of our ambition for Calderdale, and our aim to make things happen in line with our Vision 2024 for Calderdale and the Local Plan.

“The site has the potential to create 1,300 high-quality new jobs for Calderdale and West Yorkshire, attract significant investment and new businesses into Brighouse, support our inclusive economic recovery through sustainable development, and add to local climate action through new walking and cycling routes, trees and plants.

“So, we’re being bold and saying Clifton is worth investing in. We’re determined to make the Business Park a reality through an enterprising new route, exploring the option of bringing in an external partner with expertise in moving sites like this forward.”

Work will progress throughout the year to consider tender responses and confirm whether a joint venture is appropriate. Reports about the next steps and funding requirements for Clifton will be discussed by Cabinet and Full Council in early 2024.