Category Archives: Funding

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have opened a ‘call for projects’ as part of a second round of funding under the Marches Investment Fund.

Marches LEP are inviting projects from private developers, housing companies and companies that have expansion plans to take advantage of £4m of funding that will help bring forward development projects across the Marches to create much needed homes and jobs.

The fund, the first round of which was launched July 2015, followed an award from Governments Growing Places Fund and can provide funding in the form of a loan, equity or joint venture, supporting stalled projects. Additionally loan assistance for projects needing to complete their final stage feasibility studies can also be awarded.

Rachel Lister of Thomas Lister, who administer the fund on behalf of the Marches LEP commented;

“This second round of funding will be aimed at further compounding the positive level of interest and applications received following the first round of funding. Thomas Lister are currently undertaking detailed due diligence of projects with a total funding request of £3.5 million. Announcements will soon be made in respect of those successfully awarded funding. The fund is intended to provide a means of overcoming issues of access to institutional finance and is intended to kick start stalled developments and to assist in undertaking final stage feasibility work which will enable development to proceed”.

For further information on the fund please visit the Marches LEP website where you will find detailed fund guidance as well as preliminary project assessment application forms.

Alternatively you may contact Caroline Cattle the Marches Investment Fund Manager on 01743 462026 or Rachel Lister on 01527 871640 who will be happy to discuss the fund.

The launch of the £15 million Black Country Housing Fund was undertaken on 11th September 2015 to an audience of housebuilders, developers and professionals at the Hawthorns in West Bromwich.

The Black Country Housing Fund is in addition to £55 million of funding secured through the Local Growth Fund, which is available to support the delivery of new housing schemes.

The launch was addressed by Dr. Chris Handy OBE, Board Member of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and Chief Executive of Accord Housing Group, who highlighted the opportunities provided by the large areas of brownfield land suitable for new housing to accommodate planned housing growth in the Black Country and the Black Country Housing Fund as a key tool to unlock these sites. Chris Handy commented as follows;

The Black Country LEP recognises the barriers to development provided by brownfield sites and have successfully made our case to Central Government for funding to address the specific issues of development in the Black Country. The Black Country Housing Fund can meet the upfront costs of site remediation and servicing with funding repayable over a period of up to 10 years as sites are developed out.”

 “Additionally we are also able to provide funding for the undertaking of site investigations which are a key requirement to unlocking brownfield sites.”

 “The Black Country LEP is keen to engage with landowners and developers to overcome the barriers to the acceleration of housing development to meet a real need within the area.”

The launch also heard details of measures which have been put in place to simplify and accelerate the assessment process with the requirement to identify a programme of priority schemes capable by early delivery with the support of the Housing Fund by end of November 2015.

Further details of the Black Country Housing Fund and other funding programmes are available at;

or telephone Chris Thomas or Andrew Croot on 01527 871 640.

A conference to promote the availability of £70 million funding to accelerate property development projects across the Black Country was held by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership on 13th July 2015.

The conference was addressed by Stewart Towe, CBE, Chairman of the Black Country LEP as well as Sarah Middleton of the Black Country Consortium, Chris Thomas of Thomas Lister and Nick Waddington of BNP Paribas. The event was attended by a large number of Launch Eventdevelopers, landowners and agents from across the area.

The event highlighted the availability of various gap and loan funding programmes to support property development and the steps which are being taken to support the accessibility of the various funding programmes – including a single initial project application form, streamlined approval procedures and a bespoke website which contains all of the forms of Agreement which applicants would be required to enter into to secure funding.

It was highlighted that funding is available within each of the four Black Country Local Authority areas comprising Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton and can be used for site investigations/project development, remediation and delivery of both residential and commercial development (B1, B2 and B8). Sarah Middleton noted that funding programmes have been developed which seek to address the specific issues of de-risking development sites through the funding of site investigation works, loan funding to address issues of the availability of finance and gap funding to address issues of project viability.

Stewart Towe, CBE, Chairman of the Black Country LEP said;

‘The Black Country LEP has the best performing EZ in the Country with over 2,000 new jobs and 5 tenants at i54. Central Government is now listening to us. We urgently need to support the growth opportunities created by investments such as JLR, their supply chain as well as the wider renaissance in manufacturing. To do this, we need to work closely with private sector developers to assist them to deliver the good quality sites and premises required to meet this demand.’

Chris Thomas, Director of Thomas Lister said;

‘We are delighted to be supporting the Black Country LEP in this programme. We will be seeking to work closely with interested parties and their advisers to find the right funding to support their project proposals. We will ensure that the necessary support is available to enable applications to be determined as quickly as possible to seek to accelerate the pace of development across the Black Country.’ 

Details of the funding opportunities available are included within a new dedicated website

The first office building constructed speculatively in Derby city centre in the last 25 years by Lowbridge has been let in its entirety to the University of Derby by the developer.

The building, which had stood vacant since completion just over two years ago, had failed to let despite serious interest in the building proceeding almost to completion.

Rachel Lister, Director at Thomas Lister, commented;

“The long awaited letting of this prestigious and prominent building to the University of Derby is a great success story for the city of Derby, which would not of otherwise happened had it not been for investment from the Derby Regeneration Fund”.

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