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Pioneering New Project Could Create Substantial Economic Development

ALLERDALE, UK - 30 January 2014 - Allerdale councillors are considering an ambitious new initiative to bring new jobs, retail, housing and leisure to the borough – and generate significant money for reinvestment.

A meeting of the Council’s Executive on Wednesday 5 February 2014 will discuss the detail of a joint venture partnership which would manage the sale of surplus Council land. The aim is to create employment, regenerate disused and derelict areas, attract increased commercial investment and build new homes and businesses – as well as generating the maximum financial returns for the Council which will be reinvested across Allerdale district.

There has been a thorough assessment of the market prior to the Council reaching this stage of the process, which has already generated interest from potential investors. Should Executive members approve the establishment of the joint venture, three initial sites have been chosen for a first phase of development. They are:

  • Land at Ashfield Road South/Ellerbeck Lane, Workington – this site was allocated for housing in the Allerdale Local Plan in 1999
  • Land at Derwent Park, Workington, to the north of the rugby ground – national retailers have shown an interest in this site
  • Land adjacent to Allerdale House, William Street, Workington – has potential for leisure and hospitality use.

If the joint venture scheme is given the go ahead, the Council will enter into a partnership with Lucent Strategic Land Fund, a land investment fund which is experienced in land acquisition and disposal projects.

There are many benefits to the partnership. The Council invests its surplus land and shares its knowledge of the needs of its communities, while Lucent Strategic Land Fund invests money and the professional skills of its team to liaise with potential developers - and secure planning permission and potential purchasers for individual sites. Lucent also has the commercial expertise, existing relationships with developers and investors, and the funding to take potential schemes through the planning process.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member with responsibility for Economic Growth, said: “Conversations have taken place with commercial companies to assess the market and all the indications are that there is a high demand for investment in Allerdale which is great news for communities, for jobs, for training and for the future of the borough.

“If this partnership is approved, Lucent Strategic Land Fund will bring the commercial relationships, expert knowledge, and the funding to open doors with businesses. That’s something the Council could not do on its own.

“This would be a very structured approach to land redevelopment. This partnership would enable us to get to the right people in the commercial sector - and get the right development projects on the right sites. We will also be able to look at the borough as a whole and plan developments strategically.

“It is up to the Executive to decide if this is the right way for the Council to dispose of its surplus land, once it has examined all the pros and cons.”

 

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