The government has been urged to launch a regeneration finance fund in the UK to help promote redevelopment.
Centre for Cities, a research group, has argued that government spending cuts and a dip in private sector investment have left a gap in commercial development finance, and that fresh input is needed to kick-start regeneration in city centres. Centre for Cities says a regeneration finance fund from the government would boost development such as offices, houses and other projects which would generate jobs.
Urban Development Funds are now available but only in certain areas of the UK – only half of British cities are covered so far and some argue that the funding is “patchy”. In fact, some of the UK’s major cities don’t yet have access to the funds but could benefit from redevelopment finance – these include Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol.
The report suggests that the funding pool could be made up of European funds, public money and investment from the private sector. It says that traditional grant funding could be used alongside the regeneration finance to boost redevelopment.
Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said, “A new national urban development fund would offer Government a way to invest in the development and regeneration our communities need without increasing net public sector debt.”
She added, “As the Chancellor looks for innovative ways to balance the books before the spending review this summer, a national investment fund could offer a complementary approach to traditional grant funding to support local development.”