Cabinet has agreed a proposal to create a Property Investment Fund, starting with £25m
The new fund will allow the council to offer loans to development projects which offer significant economic benefits to the Kirklees district.
This project could lead to big changes in Kirklees
The project could lead to big changes to some of Kirklees’ most prominent buildings. Discussions are already taking place about how the fund could support the Kingsgate expansion in Huddersfield in order to have a positive impact on town centre footfall.
Huge developments for Kirklees
The fund could also be used to support the redevelopment of the old Co-Op building (103 New Street) and bring the building back into use.
The plan is that the majority of loans provided under the scheme would be short-term to provide finance during the critical construction phase of developments, and would be paid back as soon as they were in a position to be refinanced so the Fund could make more loans to schemes.
We will also consider other proposals that developers may have, but will only invest if there are clear and demonstrable local economic benefits to be gained from the council’s involvement.
As the fund will need to be included in our Capital Plan, the final decision will need to be agreed by the full council at their next meeting in September.
If it is agreed at that time the first steps will be to advance the schemes being considered for Kingsgate and 103 New Street and bring reports for each project to cabinet for consideration.
What have councillors said?
Cllr Naheed Mather said:
“I would like to reassure people that we are not looking to replace existing investment streams, this is about enabling financially viable development opportunities to be completed more quickly and in line with our economic strategy.
We will only invest where there is a clear case that we can add value and have a positive impact on our local economy, and where that investment shows a high probability of us recovering our costs. Where this has been done in other areas, the investment has stimulated the local economy and led to a growth in business rates.”
Cllr Peter McBride said:
“I believe that this fund will be the catalyst that leads to wider investment in our towns. By enabling the development of key projects in our town centres the area surrounding them will become more attractive to visitors, local businesses and investors – leading to more vibrant and economically stable areas.”