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Friday, July 13, 2023

Better value for money as English Partnerships exceeds targets

English Partnerships attracted more than 1bn of private sector money to its regeneration schemes and self-funded nearly two thirds of its own investment via 376m of programme receipts in 2006-07.

Private sector funding was up 51% over last year and programme receipts increased by 34% compared with 2005-06 results. The agency also exceeded its regeneration targets in other key areas, including new homes built and derelict land reclaimed, while simultaneously reducing the financial burden on the public purse.

Overall, English Partnerships exceeded its target investment by 14m, investing 586m in its programme and exceeded its output targets across all core areas as follows:

1.022bn of private sector investment - 17% above target

376m of programme receipts - up 34% on last year

9,403 new homes started on site - 11% above target

4,248 new homes completed - 32% above target

328 ha of Brownfield land reclaimed - 22% above target

325,871 sq m of employment workspace - 25% above target

English Partnerships' Chief Executive, John Walker, said: "These results are good news for regeneration, good news for individual communities and good news for the taxpayer. We have effectively achieved more with less. On every hectare of reclaimed land there are new homes, play areas, community and sports facilities, shops and job opportunities. It is important that we relate these statistics to the impact they have had on communities, not just look at the figures. I am delighted with our performance and applaud our private sector partners who deserve great credit for matching our investment by a ratio of two to one, helping to bring about even more positive change in communities across the country."

Highlights of the year included the launch of the English Partnerships' First Time Buyers' Initiative in nearly 40 areas, providing low-cost home ownership for up to 1,200 people as part of a 100m funding package; the completion of the first homes, at Oxley Woods in Milton Keynes, resulting from English Partnerships' Design for Manufacture competition to provide more than 1,000 environmentally sustainable new homes, many for a construction cost of just 60,000; and the launch of the Carbon Challenge, kick-starting the development of zero carbon communities across England and acting as a test-bed for introducing new technologies.

Looking to the future, Mr Walker believes that next year the agency's investment programme is likely to be increased to more than 620m - with as much as 70% of its funding being generated through its own receipts.

Results are also expected from its Urban Finance Team, working with institutional investors to develop mechanisms for funding local authority programmes using asset-backed vehicles; and in the former coalfields communities, English Partnerships will launch a new initiative to tackle areas of specific need by coordinating the work of existing partners to help address community issues such as unemployment, poor housing and lack of skills.