The Leeds Innovation Partnership is pleased to receive the news that West Yorkshire is set to become home to the UK’s third Investment Zone. This development will enhance the city’s aspirations to foster innovation that contributes to a healthier, more sustainable, and inclusive future for Leeds, the surrounding region, and beyond.
The investment in digital and health technology will expedite the implementation of the Leeds Innovation Arc, initiating the establishment of the Innovation Village on the Leeds General Infirmary site. The first phase involves refurbishing the Old Medical School to create a hub for health tech innovation.
Bringing together entrepreneurs, businesses, clinicians, and academics in this manner will facilitate the initial development of the 12.5-acre site, generating 4,000 new jobs and providing a potential economic boost of up to £13 billion for the region.
The Innovation Village is part of a network of innovation neighborhoods forming the Leeds Innovation Arc, situated to the west of the city center and centered around key institutions such as our main universities, proposed adult and children’s hospitals, and major private sector partners.
The Innovation Arc currently houses significant innovation assets, including Nexus at the University of Leeds, which serves as a hub for various innovative businesses like SeeAI, Itecho Health, and Atlas Endoscopy.
Leeds City Council recently adopted a supplementary planning document to support the Innovation Arc. This document outlines how the area will benefit from improved connectivity, advocates for the restoration of key buildings, guides future development, and supports relevant funding applications.
Citywide, the Leeds Innovation Partnership is actively cultivating a culture of innovation. This commitment includes backing diverse and talented entrepreneurs, supporting grassroots community-led organizations like the Leeds Digital Festival, and collaborating with world-leading research and development and health innovators.
Dame Linda Pollard, Chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Chair of the Leeds Innovation Partnership said: “This is wonderful news for Leeds and the wider region. The Innovation Village will catalyse regeneration and healthcare transformation and the redevelopment of the Old Medical School is the first exciting phase in realising this. This once in a lifetime opportunity has only become possible as a result of the recent confirmation from the Secretary of State for Health to fully fund the new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital, a new adults’ hospital and one of the largest single site maternity centres in the country on the Leeds General Infirmary site.”
Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Securing an investment zone for West Yorkshire with a focus on life sciences is fantastic news for Leeds because of our internationally-recognised pedigree in delivering innovation in the healthtech sector.
“Further investment in this area will allow us to build on the achievements of the many successful businesses within this sector which are based in our city, providing more opportunities for inclusive and economic growth which will benefit our residents and wider communities across the region.”
Dr Martin Stow, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Business Engagement and Enterprise commented: “This is a significant investment in the region and a real acknowledgement of Leeds as one of the UK’s leading healthtech innovation clusters. It will further the knowledge exchange between clinical experts, entrepreneurs and academics to support economic growth and nurture the skills and talent that will be required in the future.”
Adrian Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of Itecho Health, based at Nexus said: “We’re delighted to welcome this investment, it’s great to see recognition of the thriving healthtech sector in our region. This investment will increase opportunities for businesses like ours, working to innovate novel solutions to improve patient care across the NHS, to scale-up whilst remaining within West Yorkshire. We’ve got something really special in our region and its brilliant that this funding will help us achieve even more of our innovation ambitions.”