A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. The additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property related costs who have less than 50 employees and will be structured around three levels of grant payments.
Locally, over £120m has already been paid out to businesses via the Business Grants scheme the Council has administered on behalf of Government.
The Councils media release about this was issued yesterday to explain our plans for this. We ask please bear with the Council while the details are worked out.
Connecting Leeds are planning to start in June to redevelop the area round the historic Corn Exchange. This is essential work, as defined and supported by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Leeds City Council, and the Department for Transport as it will improve infrastructure in the area now and will support the future economy.
The safety of their workers is the top priority and they'll continue to follow guidance issued by the Department for Transport. This includes taking steps to enforce social distancing on site and providing enhanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where needed. They plan to continue for as long as possible, while causing minimal disruption to residents and businesses. If the Government’s policy on construction changes, they will review their workplace policies to reflect this.
The work they start in June will be to remove the central islands on Duncan Street. This work will take place on a night shifts because they’ll need to close the road during the work. Their night shifts will run from 19:00 to 05:00 and they’ll work Sunday to Thursday. This work will take approximately four weeks to be completed.
Removing the central island on Duncan Street will allow them to keep traffic flowing in both directions when they start work on the main scheme. This work will involve digging through layers of concrete and there will be periods when it will be noisy. They’ll always to try to complete any very noisy work by 23:00 each night, and then continue with less noisy tasks throughout the night shift. However, there might be occasions when they need to work through the night to complete noisy work if we need to fully close roads; they can’t do this through the day as buses keep running until 00:00. If they need to work through the night and it’s likely to be noisy, they will warn Councillors in advance.
Work on the main scheme involves:
Most of the work on the main scheme will be done during the day but some work, such as laying new road surfaces, will need to take place overnight when businesses are closed, and traffic can be safely diverted without causing disruption. This also helps to keep pedestrians safe.
It’s likely this work will be completed in phases and they expect the main scheme to start on Duncan Street in mid to late August. The detail about other areas is currently being finalised, along with the exact dates and times and they’ll write to Councillors with the schedule of work when this is finalised.
Additionally, they’re planning to start work in June on Meadow Lane to build their temporary site offices. They’ll build this in the car park on Meadow Lane, meaning this car park will be closed to members of the public.
The Corn Exchange scheme is expected to finish by spring 2021 but all these dates might be subject to change; they might be accelerated if they’re able to start sooner but there could be delays caused by other elements of the work.