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 developers, 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 www.blackcountrydevelopmentfunding.co.uk.