Creation of Telford Growth Fund to boost inward investment

Telford & Wrekin Council is poised to create a new Growth Fund to further boost inward investment in the borough.

Creation of Telford Growth Fund to boost inward investment
The council’s business winning approach has resulted in significant investment in the borough and a continuing level of interest in land and premises.

With this continuing level of interest in place there are opportunities for the PIP to invest in a range of investment opportunities including: 
The construction of new premises witrh committed tenants
Speculative development of industrial units to meet general market demand
Investment in existing PIP premises to increase market value
Acquisition of investment properties
Acquisition and development of suitable employment land

The council’s cabinet - which meets on November 12 - is being asked to approve borrowing up to a maximum of £20m to create the Telford Growth Fund.

This will be used to invest in and expand the council-owned Property Investment Portfolio, which currently generates more than £5m a year. 

The portfolio comprises of a range of industrial, retail and office premises, all of which play a vital role in accommodating a range of businesses from local to international.

A report to the council’s cabinet says the authority is asset weak compared to many others and the growth of the PIP would help support the increase in its asset base.

However, the ability to meet the range of opportunities is currently restricted by the ability of the PIP to move quickly to commit to a scheme within the necessary timescales because it needs to raise capital from disposals first.

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Service Delivery, said: “The creation of the Telford Growth Fund will allow the PIP to access borrowing up to £20m to fund further investment to deliver business growth and increase the revenue return. However, this is money we will only borrow if we need it.

“This borrowing will allow more seamless transactions in the future and give greater opportunity to manage the revenue impacts of the capital programme more efficiently.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Business, said:  “The fund will directly increase the competitiveness of the borough’s offer to investors.

“The availability of funds would also enable the delivery of the commercial elements of the next phase of Southwater to come forward including additional hotel and retail/restaurant space.”