THERE has still been no decision on whether the York Central scheme will receive essential Government funding of £77.1 million - and council leaders say the Conservative leadership race could be to blame.

A City of York Council meeting heard that a bid for money from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) has not been decided.

Senior councillors were asked to put £750,000 towards keeping the project going for the next four months while awaiting a decision. The money will be used for further design work and finalising the next stage of the planning application process.

And £335,000 of the cash will come from Homes England.

Speaking at the meeting, council leader Keith Aspden said: “I have written to the Government requesting as early a decision on the HIF funding as possible.

“Anything we can do together or with the city’s MPs to try to get the government ministers to stop thinking about leadership elections and start thinking about those major schemes would be really welcomed.

“To me, releasing the funding suggested is a proportionate way of making sure that the work continues to actually deliver York Central.”

Tracey Carter, the council’s assistant director of regeneration, said the funding is an “important step” for taking the project forward.

She added: “There is significant new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure across the site and connecting through into the city.

“There are public transport improvements, including a bus priority lane. There’s the creation of infrastructure for electric car charging points and car clubs, and there are low levels of parking.”

Cllr Andrew Waller added: “I think it is important that the council demonstrates its confidence in the project and that we make sure the momentum continues.”

Cllr Aspden also called for further consultation and a commitment to ensure that commercial space will “contribute to carbon reduction” at the site.

Cllr Anna Perrett, from the Labour group, said: “There are some positive developments in this report but there are concerns about the HIF funding.”

The executive approved £750,000 funding for early contract involvement, more design work and finalising the next stage of the planning application.