NEARLY £1.6 million of funding has been granted to help the York Central development take a step forward.

But City of York Council is still waiting to hear if its bid for £77.1 million of essential Government funding for the scheme has been successful.

On Thursday the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) announced it is putting £1.58 million towards the project to help develop the designs and see them through to a full planning decision.

Council leader Keith Aspden welcomed the news, saying: “It is fantastic that the LEP continues to support York Central and the over £1.1 billion boost it will give to our local economy.

“This is very welcome recognition of the opportunities of York Central.

“We’re closer than ever before to realising this potential.

“This will help us to maintain momentum while we await a government decision on the housing infrastructure fund grant.”

And David Dickson from the LEP added: “We’re delighted to approve further funds for York Central.

“We want to play our part in making sure the council and its partners can continue its progress to unlock this really important site.”

Councillors got an update on the scheme’s progress at an executive meeting on Thursday - when Tracey Carter, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said an announcement on Government funding is expected soon but has been held up by national politics.

She added that an agreement between the partners involved in the project is due to be signed off in a month, saying: “We are not the ones who are most out of pocket at the moment - that award goes to Homes England who have committed £18.9 million at this point.”

Cllr Danny Myers asked about how much money could be lost if the Government funding does not materialise.

A report for the meeting says more than £4.4 million of costs could be lost - but this could be offset by business rates from the enterprise zone, which are already estimated at £1.3 million.

And there would also be income from any smaller development on the site.