YORK Central has secured a major windfall in the Chancellor’s 2020 budget, paving the way for thousands of homes and jobs for the city.

The Chancellor announced that he has approved an investment, potentially totalling £77 million, from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock the brownfield site.

It was part of a £328 million package for housing schemes, including ones in Harlow and North Warwickshire.

The bid was submitted to fund a new access road to the 45-hectare site, allowing the creation of more than 2,500 homes and 112,000 square metres of commercial space.

The money will contribute to the £155 million funding package put together by City of York Council and partners, including Homes England, Network Rail and National Railway Museum.

Councillor Keith Aspden, council leader, said: “After many months of lobbying, I am delighted to secure this significant investment in our city and finally, work towards progressing the York Central development. This announcement is a strong endorsement of York Central, and we look forward to taking the project forward to deliver new homes, up to 6,500 better paid jobs and fantastic public, green and cultural spaces for the whole city to enjoy. The scheme will also set new standards for sustainable living and clean growth; utilising brownfield land in the heart of the city.”

The £155 million will be used to deliver essential infrastructure, including the access road bridge and spine road through the site, a pedestrian bridge on Water End and a rail link to the NRM. York Central is expected to provide a £1.16 billion boost to the economy.

The approved planning application for the site includes proposals for up to 2,500 homes, including affordable housing, and a 90,000 square metre commercial quarter.

Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, said he was delighted. “Whilst we await the specific details, it is hoped that the investment will help to improve the connectivity of the site and addresses the principal concern of local residents by mitigating the impact of increased traffic on the city’s roads.

“The Government is proving that it is serious about investing in the North and as one of the largest city-centre brownfield sites in Europe, York Central presents a major opportunity to boost the regional economy. I look forward to seeing this opportunity realised as we enter the next phase of development.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning, said: “It’s a tremendous boost for the project. It is a huge boost in providing for employment – 6,500 jobs and 2,500 homes and because of being next to the railway station, it is a very sustainable location.

“It fits very strongly with York’s commitment to respond to climate change and have a green economy and it is a tremendous space for new, well-paid jobs for the city.”

Andrew Digwood, president of the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been lobbying for this funding, alongside other local stakeholders, for some considerable time and the announcement should now enable this vitally important project for York to progress to its next stage. The Chamber will continue to represent the voice of business in the development of York Central to try to ensure that it achieves its fullest potential for the city and the region.”

Labour group leader, Cllr Danny Myers said: “We desperately need to see York Central as an economic site, to deliver skilled, career jobs; the type of jobs that if we do not show stronger local leadership, could be lost to other cities, particularly as today sees the signing off of a £1bn plus deal for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on our doorstep.”

The application also includes pedestrian and cycle route provision into and through the site; low levels of parking spaces; the highest sustainable design standards built into the design guide; and around £15 million developer contributions to encourage more bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.