The marketing body Conference Leeds says it is delighted that the Leeds Arena is “one step closer” to being built.
Regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward, have been given approval for its £9.9m investment of the 12,500-seat entertainment arena and event space by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
“I’m delighted that the arena is one step closer, it will offer a major addition to the Leeds product and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the occupancy figures for the hotel bedstock in the city,” says Conference Leeds’ Nicola Lockwood.
The development ground to a halt in the summer, when the department blocked the funding and asked Yorkshire Forward and Leeds City Council to further develop its plans to ensure “best value for money”.
“This is a landmark decision for the Leeds City Region and one which will have a significant impact on its economy,” says chief executive of Yorkshire Forward, Tom Riordan. “We strongly believe that this is not just an Arena for Leeds, but a catalyst for the tourism and entertainment industries across Yorkshire and Humber.”
Once completed, the arena is estimated to generate an economic impact of over £28m every year for the region.
Business tourism boosted the Yorkshire economy by £1.6bn in 2008, according to research commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Forward. There has been an increase in conferences and events with more than 10m delegates attending events held in the region.