News release from 02/10/2020
Investment partnerships formed
Two investment partnerships have been formed that will see up to £340 million invested to support the local recovery, through regeneration and development.
South Cambridgeshire District Council has appointed the Top 20 housebuilder, Hill Group, in one investment partnership, and Balfour Beatty Investments, the international infrastructure investor, as a partner in another. This follows an extensive tender process that invited bids from suitably qualified and experienced partners with the resources, skills and competencies to jointly invest in opportunities.
Investment partnerships are part of the District Council’s plans to manage the impact of reduced national funding by investing money to generate income. This income then supports the delivery of frontline Council services. They are one element of the Council’s Investment Strategy which was approved at a Full Council meeting in February 2019.
The two partnerships will acquire land for new homes, including Council and social rented properties, along with commercial developments and supporting services which will help to secure the local economy as it recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic. Both partnerships aim to generate long-term income streams for the Council.
The partnerships allow each party to benefit from the other’s skills, expertise and knowledge and open-up bigger opportunities that may not have been possible without the advantage of working as a team. They also mean that the risk associated with investment is equally shared, along with profits.
The Council expects to contribute up to £170 million between the two partnerships during the next four years.
The money the Council is putting into the partnerships will include a mix of cash and funds it is able to borrow at preferential rates, supported by grants and other funding.
Identifying suitable land opportunities will be a core element of work done by the partnerships. Target sites are located within South Cambridgeshire and the wider travel to work area, as determined by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER).
The South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership with Hill Group will build a range of high-quality, sustainable private sale and affordable housing and regeneration developments to support local communities and economies, as well as investment and income generating opportunities for the Council. The broad range of potential developments to be delivered by the South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership include Council and social rented homes, private sale homes, private rented sector (PRS) housing, senior and assisted living, estate regeneration and mixed-use developments.
The partnership with Balfour Beatty, called South Cambridgeshire Projects LLP, will see mixed-use developments be identified within South Cambridgeshire and neighbouring areas.
The Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cllr Bridget Smith (pictured - left), said: “These exciting and innovative new partnerships will help us to deliver on our pledge to build more housing that is affordable to live in, where people want to live. They will also help to grow local businesses and economies by supporting redevelopment and regeneration work at a time when this is clearly a priority. The income we raise over the course of several years will help us to maintain frontline services that residents rely on – now so more than ever because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This funding will also allow us to continue our work to achieve net zero carbon for South Cambridgeshire and, crucially, provide even more affordable housing that we know we need. They will see us reap the benefits of joining-up with large companies to open-up opportunities that we wouldn’t have been able to get involved in by ourselves, while sharing the acceptable risk that investments of these types bring.”
Andy Hill, Chief Executive of the Hill Group, comments: “We are so proud to have been chosen for this Investment Partnership and trusted to secure the future growth and prosperity of South Cambridgeshire. As a locally founded, family run business, and large employer in this area, we are committed to delivering the highest quality of design and housing standards, while also creating great places where all can live in harmony, thus safeguarding the Council’s revenue stream for decades to come.”
Ion Appuhamy, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty Investments, said “We are very pleased to partner with South Cambridgeshire District Council to deliver on this landmark partnership which will see a significant contribution to the local economy and surrounding communities by providing regeneration and economic development opportunities across South Cambridgeshire.”