This article was published in 2009.

The Leeds Arena, a new 12,500 capacity venue in the heart of Leeds city centre, has today taken a huge step forward as Yorkshire Forward received confirmation that almost £10 million of funding it pledged this summer has been given the go ahead by central government.

Both Yorkshire Forward and Leeds City Council have welcomed the decision as the 12,500 capacity Arena can now move into the first phase of development in 2010.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “I’m delighted. It’s a nice surprise before Christmas. It is going to be a very successful venture and a massive asset not just for the city of Leeds but to the whole of the city region. It will mean that the three million people who live in the Leeds City Region will have a music venue to visit without having to go to Manchester or Sheffield.".

The target for the opening of the Leeds Arena is November 2012.