In November last year, Telford & Wrekin Council launched a £20m Growth Fund to acquire land and property to attract new businesses into the borough and help expand existing ones. Its aim was to create new jobs and opportunities for local people benefitting communities across the Borough and raise revenue for the Council to continue to fund the services it provides. .
Already £14.7m has been committed to schemes which are expected to create 1,000 new jobs and safeguard a further 200. The income from the Council’s initial investment is set to deliver over £400,000 pa for the Authority to invest into frontline services benefitting communities across the Borough.
Recent successes, include:
• The multi-million pound investment by Magna International who will bring a world-class aluminium casting facility to T54 to supply Jaguar Land Rover. This will create up to 295 jobs at full capacity with more anticipated in the local supply chain.
• The purchase of Audley Avenue Industrial Park in Newport, threatened with closure - safeguarding more than 160 jobs at eleven businesses based there.
Given the success and with more potential investors queuing up to make their base in the Borough, the Council’s Cabinet is set to consider increasing the Fund to £50m at their meeting on 13 October.
Councillor Lee Carter, Cabinet Member for Council Finance, Partnerships & Commercial Services said: “The Growth Fund has had a massive impact over the last 12 months – putting the Borough firmly on the map for investors – delivering new jobs and opportunities for our young people. Growing the Fund shows the Council’s commitment to businesses and to strengthening our communities. This is also an investment for the Council to protect our own services for the future, such as adult social care and children’s services.”
If approved, the Council will borrow the additional £30m to spend on the purchase of more land and property and the building of bespoke premises for businesses. In return for this investment, the Council expects to receive an income in the form of rent of £3m a year - £1m after loan repayments.. And as business in the borough continues to grow, there would be further income for the Council from the resultant growth in business rates.
Councillor Carter added: ““At a time when we are having to save millions due to cuts in Government funding, we are finding new ways to make money. One of those ways is by further supporting businesses to invest in Telford and Wrekin.
“When a business is successful locally, the whole community will reap the benefits.