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Time running out to get a slice of £9m Greater Birmingham housing fund

Time running out to get a slice of £9m Greater Birmingham housing fund

🕔29.Apr 2016

Developers have just one week to stake a claim for a share of a £9 million fund to unlock stalled housing sites across Greater Birmingham.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Unlocking Housing Sites Programme was launched earlier in the year with the aim of bringing forward at least 500 new homes in the area.

Designed to deliver targeted assistance to sites which are ready for development but where building work cannot proceed for a variety of reasons, the funding is available as grant, loan or equity. Consideration will also be given to funding for site specific feasibility studies.

The programme is intended to support mixed tenure schemes of between 10 and 100 homes.

GBSLEP chair Andy Street said the fund was specifically designed to address development sites that are stalled but “with the right intervention could be brought forward”.

Mr Street added:

The provision of a quality housing offer is a key strength of this area and essential to the region’s continued economic growth.

Recognising this, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership is keen to work with all partners involved in bringing forward housing development including the private sector – developers and land owners, local authorities and Housing Associations.

The criteria for expressions of interest:

  1. Housing schemes must be located within the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area of Birmingham, Solihull, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wyre Forest, Lichfield, Tamworth, Cannock Chase and East Staffordshire.
  2. The programme is intended to support mixed tenure projects, which comprise open market sale homes and affordable homes within National Planning Policy Framework definitions.
  3. Schemes must be for new build properties and conversions; this excludes conversions for Multiple Occupation and student housing supply.
  4. Schemes should be targeted to deliver between 10 and 100 residential units. Phases of a larger project or a package of sites may also be considered.
  5. A developer must demonstrate that funding is necessary to enable delivery of the larger scheme and provide an independent assessment.
  6. All applicants must demonstrate a proven track record of delivery and the technical and financial capacity to deliver their completed scheme in accordance with their proposal submission.
  7. Applications from joint venture arrangements will be considered if there are clear accountability, security and delivery arrangements.

Developed with Local Growth funding, the Unlocking Housing Growth Programme is managed by Birmingham City Council with Finance Birmingham.

Meanwhile, firms have until the end of the year to apply for assistance from GBSLEP’s Rail Supply Growth Fund.

The £20 million fund is for companies seeking to expand products and services provided to the rail supply sector. Decisions on funding are made by an independent investment board meeting each month. A GBSLEP spokesperson said:

The next ten years will see the UK’s rail industry radically transformed with a large scale investment boom with total investment across the UK’s rail network being the biggest for over a century with a current commitment of £88 billion.

This level of investment is expected to provide significant commercial opportunities for both existing and new suppliers to the rail supply sector.

A strong rail supply sector is critical to the government’s plans for a modern rail system whether high speed, conventional, freight, metro or light rail and essential to unlock economic growth and new jobs, as well as connecting communities and enabling them to develop and grow.

Delivering this world class railway will require a growing, productive, innovative and responsive UK based rail supply sector.

To help such businesses it is essential that suppliers of all sizes and types have access to affordable finance in order to develop their capabilities and improve their productivity and competitiveness to help to deliver this railway of the future.

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