Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 19:53 UK

City arena funding bid rejected

The interior of the arena
The city council released images of the proposed arena last month

The government has refused to spend £18m of public money on a new entertainment venue for Leeds.

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward was planning to put the money towards funding the £78m Leeds Arena at Clay Pit Lane.

The Department for Business said the current plan did not provide value for money or create enough jobs and asked the city council to review the project.

Joint council leader Andrew Carter said the decision would not halt the scheme.

MPs' objections

He told BBC News: "The government cannot stop us with our project. It's now time for us to remain absolutely decisive, as we've been all along, while they dither.

"We intend to move ahead. Their comments today don't delay and don't stop the development of the arena.

"What I'm astonished by is that they have used this job creation argument. This is not a job creation scheme, this is the development of a public entertainment popular music venue, that's what it's about."

Sheffield Arena
Sheffield Arena was built with funds from Sheffield City Council

MPs in South Yorkshire had objected to the planned use of government money to pay for the arena.

They said the development would threaten the future of Sheffield Arena and lead to job losses.

Mr Carter said the MPs' stance had "put in jeopardy a very good relationship that hitherto existed between Sheffield and Leeds."

Sheffield International Venues, the group behind Sheffield Arena, has welcomed the government's decision.

A Department for Business (BIS) spokesman said: "After reviewing the proposal, the independent Industrial Development Advisory Board has recommended that it can be developed further to provide the best possible value for money.

"We've asked Yorkshire Forward to work with Leeds City Council on this, and would consider any new proposals they put forward before deciding whether to approve an investment."

Jan Anderson, executive director for Yorkshire Forward, said: "BIS have asked us to develop the Leeds Arena proposal to further demonstrate value for money.

"We will continue to work closely with Leeds City Council to do this so that we might progress the development of the arena."

Print Sponsor

First city arena images released
13 Sep 09 |  South Yorkshire
MPs object over rival arena money
16 Dec 08 |  South Yorkshire
Firm angry at rival arena money
18 Nov 08 |  South Yorkshire
Decision due on Leeds arena site
04 Nov 08 |  West Yorkshire
Leeds arena moves one step closer
15 May 08 |  West Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific