Huddersfield is to be at the heart of a new West Yorkshire Investment Zone which could create 2,500 new jobs and unlock over £220 million of investment.

The Investment Zone will be based around universities in Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford and the many thriving life sciences businesses such as Fenay Bridge-based Paxman Scalp Cooling.

Paxman, which supports patients to minimise hair loss during chemotherapy by manufacturing specialist hair caps, is investing £5 million to bring its innovative products to global markets.

As a result of the Investment Zone, revamped sites specialising in health tech and digital will open up around West Yorkshire, unlocking over 2,500 jobs and over £220 million of investment across the region over the next five years.

One of those sites will be the Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor which has the University of Huddersfield’s £250 million National Health Innovation Campus as its centrepiece.

The millions of pounds the Investment Zone will unlock can be used flexibly between spending on interventions such as skills, research and development and local infrastructure, dependent on local need, and tax incentives such as 100% Stamp Duty Land Tax relief, an enhanced structures and buildings allowance at a rate of 10% per annum, an enhanced 100% first-year capital allowance, employer National Insurance contributions relief, and 100% business rates relief.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt launched West Yorkshire’s Investment Zone alongside Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin at Paxman Cooling where they met executives and discussed the future growth of the company.

Mayor Tracy Brabin said: “We know that devolution is working for West Yorkshire and this new investment zone is further recognition of that from the Government.

“Home to NHS England, our region’s digital and health tech businesses are driving forward innovation and transforming the lives of patients worldwide.

“This investment is a massive vote of confidence in our top-tier universities and talented graduates and will help our mission to build a stronger, brighter region that works for all.”

Richard Paxman OBE, CEO of Paxman Scalp Cooling, said: “This news is incredibly exciting for the region and our health tech sector, and will only further attract investment in a sector that changes lives and makes a real impact commercially and socially.

“Paxman has invested significantly in the region over the past five years, attracting over £10 million of foreign direct investment.

“Now, we are more committed than ever before in increasing our presence and investment in Huddersfield providing further employment growth and delivering additional investment in research and development.”