England and Wales have won the World Cup, but the footballing heartland of Yorkshire and the Humber has been left behind.
In a bid to attract more foreign investment to the region, the Government announced plans for a $2 billion development, but there has been a lack of clarity about exactly what the project entails.
With a population of less than 6,000, Yorkshire has a population density of just 4.3 per square kilometre, which means it has a much lower population density than many of its neighbours in the UK and Europe.
The UK is home to the third largest city in the country, Leeds, with a population greater than 2 million, but this has meant that its development has been hindered by a lack in affordable housing, with the average house costing between £2.7m and £4.6m.
The announcement of the project has sparked controversy among local residents, with some claiming that the development could lead to displacement of people who live in the region and others arguing that it will only lead to more unemployment.
“There are only so many places in the world that you can say you’re going to do something like this, and I don’t know that there’s going to be a place in this country that’s going forward,” said local MP Joanne Cusack.
“There’s been a great deal of confusion about what the plan is and what the funding is.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the plan, Yorkshire First Party MP John Bickmore is optimistic about the prospects for the area.
“We’re all aware of what the jobless figures are in the county and the whole region.
We are going to get more people into the economy, more jobs, and we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to do that,” he said.”
People can see the huge economic potential in this area.”
However, many people in the area are concerned that the plan could be used as an opportunity to build a bigger, more expensive, and more exclusive development that will make it even harder for local residents to get by.
“The only people who will benefit from this are those who have been able to invest,” said Andrew Boughton, a resident of the nearby village of Pembrokeshire.
“If you’re able to buy a house for £3.5m or £5m and you build a new house for around £6m or more and you’re a huge player in the market, then you’re not going to have a hard time.”
It will give an opportunity for those people who have got a little bit of money to go back to their hometowns, and that will have a big impact on the people who aren’t there and won’t have that opportunity.
“Cusack says that she believes that the government should focus on building more affordable housing and improving the quality of life in the areas surrounding the stadium, rather than creating more development.”
They should invest in housing, in infrastructure, in education, in employment, in jobs, but we need to have the right kind of development in this county,” she said.