THE council is to pour £175,000 into creating new pedestrian areas at the Hungate development site.

The money has been committed from City of York Council's Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF), and was confirmed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night alongside a £75,000 grant bid from the BioVale project to develop a cluster of biorenewable businesses around York.

The Hungate money comes on top of funds expected from the developers through the planning application process. It will help create a "world-class district for commercial and resident development", the council's head of economic development Katie Stewart and director of customer and business support services Ian Floyd said in a written report to the cabinet

But full details of what the money will be spent on are not included in the report to cabinet, and the council has faced criticism from opposition Liberal Democrat councillors over spending on another city centre project without any details of what the money will do.

The £75,000 BioVale funding was approved "in principle" and faces a business case assessment by the council chief executive Kersten England and senior officials, before the money can be spent.

The University of York led project aims to bring biorenewable businesses to York, and the council cash is being requested to help develop a business plan, a masterplan for physical premises, and engage with private sector businesses. It should also help the project get hold of extra funding from other sources.

Cash for both schemes comes from the £28.5 million EIF, which was created in April 2012 to fuel economic growth and has so far spent just under £28 million.