Deal will bring economic boost

Image of how the Riverside Regeneration will transform part of Thetford
Image of how the Riverside Regeneration will transform part of Thetford

Breckland District Council is seeking private investors to enable it to boost the district’s economic growth and enable projects such as the Riverside Regeneration development in Thetford to move forward.

The aim is to attract multi million pound international investmentment through a Local Asset Based Vehicle (LABV).

The council owns £56m of commercial property and assets and is looking to build on this with a 20 year planned investment and growth strategy working with private partners.

The joint venture- LAVB - will enable the Council to refurbish and develop its asset and realise a 15 – 20 year vision for the economic prosperity of the district.

It is expected the venture will create 1,200 jobs and 492 homes across the district.

The council’s asset base, including its commercial property portfolio of 436 assets, needs significant investment to continue to generate a good return and provide good quality commercial space for businesses.

Breckland has given planning approval for the Riverside Regeneration project at Bridge Street which includes a 62 bedroom hotel, a three screen cinema and five restaurant units.

Another Thetford project is the development of the Old and New Maltings which is expected to to be worth £1.8million when completed.

All the figures are anticipated as until the projects are complete final figures are unknown.

Cllr Mark Kiddle-Morris, executive member for assets and strategic development said: ““We have for many years believed in running the council as a business and our £56m asset base gives us a strong opportunity to join with a private partner and take a more strategic and long-term approach.

“By making our asset base work smarter and harder we can lever in substantial private sector investment to refurbish and upgrade our stock as well as achieving growth, housing and jobs for Breckland residents in the long term.

“Safeguarding the income stream from our asset base will help us protect frontline services in the face of substantial and continuing reductions in central government funding”.

A specialist Project Team will work on the procurement and appointment process. It is expected that a private sector partner will be selected during 2014 and delivery of the first projects will begin shortly afterwards.