Agenda item

Town Investment Plan - "Shrub Hill Regeneration" and "Community Skills And Enterprise" Business Cases

That the Committee agree to:

 

1.   support the business cases and approves the Summary Documents for submission to the Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities

 

2.   authorise the Corporate Director Finance and Resources and the Corporate Director Planning and Governance to undertake further due diligence and complete the appropriate funding agreements as detailed within this report.

 

(Report to follow)

Minutes:

The Committee considered the business cases for two projects, Shrub Hill Regeneration and Community Skills and Enterprise. The Deputy Director – Policy and Strategy presented the report and highlighted the main elements. Both business cases had been unanimously approved by the Town Deal Board at its meeting on 12th May 2022.

 

In summary, the business case for the Shrub Hill Regeneration Project comprised Isaac Maddox House and the adjacent “triangle” including new offices, commercial and enterprise space, housing, a new access route from St Martin’s Quarter to Shrub Hill station and adjacent public realm works. The City Council and County Council are working in partnership to procure a development partner to jointly deliver this project.

 

The proposals had been adjusted from the previously approved project confirmation documents. The principal factors for the adjustment were:

 

    The bus depot is no longer available, and without an alternative site to relocate the depot compulsory purchase is not a realistic option.

    Further design and feasibility work has been carried out which has informed costed options for Isaac Maddox House refurbishment and public realm works.

 

The adjustment and the rationale that has been used to prepare the business case were appended to the report.

 

A Value for Money assessment demonstrated that TIP funding provides excellent value for and there were additional non-quantified benefits.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:

 

    The Leader represents the City Council on the steering committee membership, which is not a decision making body. If a Co-Leader is appointed, that person would also be able to sit on the steering committee. One of other party leaders can attend if the Leader is unavailable.

 

    Officers are working closely with all businesses affected by the redevelopment. Several are on short-term leases with low rents, and it may be difficult to find comparable alternative premises on the same terms.

 

    First Bus have indicated that they will release the small amount of land required for the new access route

 

The Community Skills and Enterprise project provides for construction works at a number of Community hubs across the City to facilitate the delivery of skills training. The business case confirmed the feasibility, deliverability, and value for money of this project. The proposals were unchanged from those in the project confirmation documents previously supported by the Board and submitted to Government by the City Council. The Town Investment Plan funding provided excellent value for money and there were additional unquantified benefits. The facilities will support delivery of a range of mainstream funded training to be delivered by a range of providers.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:

 

    Officers explained that all funding agreements relating to facilities run by partner organisations will include terms and conditions which identify key deliverables and require external partners to commit to making their facilities available to achieve the key deliverables.

 

    It is acknowledged that there remains a funding gap of £75k  and Officers are working with partners on securing other external grants. Both projects include cost inflation risk and contingency provision and it will become clearer whether these are sufficient to also cover the funding gap as the projects proceed to the procurement stage.

 

    There is scope to link deliverables for this project with previously approved projects, for example the Severn Centre for Health & Well Being.

 

    Officers will continue to work closely with the construction trade and businesses to establish what skills should be delivered at each venue.

 

    In response to questions, Officers will check whether Platform Housing still provide skills training and whether there is the potential for any linkage.

 

The Managing Director acknowledged that it is appropriate to review the membership of the Town Deal Board now that the last two business cases have been approved.

 

Committee Members expressed support for both business cases, as submitted.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.    support the business cases and approve the Summary Documents for submission to the Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities; and

 

2.    authorise the Corporate Director - Finance and Resources and the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance to undertake further due diligence and complete the appropriate funding agreements as detailed within this report.

Supporting documents: