The industry body which brings together business associations, politicians and academics, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), has launched a new paper arguing for the introduction of a new Greener Regeneration Investment Fund.
The paper, launched at a virtual session during Construction Week by Hannah Vickers, argues that traditional models of regeneration need to be challenged in a post-COVID society and that UK Government ambitions for levelling-up, improving social cohesion and accelerating the path to Net Zero could be shifted up a gear if alternative financing capability is made available to support local regeneration.
Developed with the support of local authorities, LEPs and private sector developers, the paper suggests a new approach could accelerate construction jobs for the next three years, stimulate a local-led economic recovery plan and deliver long-term benefits for communities.
The £10 billion backed fund would leverage three times that amount in private investment, creating a £40 billion fund which could be used to fund regeneration projects across the UK. The paper argues that this would mean a 7% reduction in the cost of finance, allowing that saving to be passed onto social, community and, of course, environmental programmes and initiatives.
Hannah Vickers spearheaded the research on behalf of the CLC: “We know there is a long-term demand for regeneration activity across the UK, not only to deliver ambitious housing targets, but to support levelling-up and growth at a local level. This fund will ensure that regeneration schemes also deliver on Government’s long-term ambitions on Net Zero and in doing so will open up projects to interest from private and institutional investors who are also seeking clear social and environmental returns.
“COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief the need for more resilience in our communities. The shift in commuter patterns and behaviours, the importance of open spaces and the delivery of local services have all been turned on their head recently. Successful projects will need to factor in these changes and overcome historic challenges to deliver faster, better and greener regeneration. This fund and the capability aligned to it will help Local Authorities and their private sector development partners do just that.”
CLC Co-Chair Andy Mitchell CBE commented: “With the right support, local authorities and their development partners can deliver targeted investment that will not only create jobs, but will deliver for communities and businesses in all parts of the UK.
“We are calling on the UK Government to take steps to empower local authorities to lead the UK’s economic recovery and deliver the sustainable future we will need to succeed in the post-pandemic world.”