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£23million infrastructure fund brought to South Yorkshire

posted 4 Feb 2013, 06:35 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 4 Feb 2013, 06:38 ]
The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been working with Creative Sheffield, to create a £23m JESSICA fund to invest in infrastructure and property projects in South Yorkshire.

The scheme has utilised £8m of the LEP’s Growing Places Fund for Sheffield City Region to leverage a further £15m of finance from the European Regional Development Fund. This will roll out across South Yorkshire over the forthcoming weeks.

The Growing Places Fund is overseen by the Sheffield City Region LEP and the total combined fund offers the ability to invest £23m in infrastructure and property projects primarily in the office and industrial sectors. The JESSICA fund will be able to provide development and construction finance at a time when banks and other institutions are not prepared to lend, even for financially viable projects.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member of Sheffield City Council, said:

“The Council, through Creative Sheffield have worked closely with City Region partners to enable this important project to progress. We were convinced of the need for the Fund and made sure that an appropriate structure was in place to make it happen. This fund will stimulate growth and overcome barriers to growth in the development and property sectors.’

“The JESSICA is established by the European Union. There are only a limited number operational in theUK. The way we have set up this fund puts us in a strong position to meet the needs specific to our local economy”.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, added:

“We have been working very closely with our private sector colleagues in the construction industry and time and time again they refer to access to finance being a major barrier to development. This fund is a direct response to this barrier and whilst it will not solve every problem or be suitable for every development, it puts in place a significant financial tool to help stimulate the local economy.

“Importantly, we expect to see a return on the investments, which will then be recycled into further projects over the next 10 years. It is hoped that over time it will be able to also support investment across the wider city region.”

The Fund has been put together by Creative Sheffield on behalf of the Sheffield City Region private and public sector partners. CBRE has been appointed to manage the Fund, they have already gained significant experience of running a JESSICA fund in theNorth Westand can take advantage of their existing office inSheffieldto seek investment opportunities in the wider region.

Businesses wishing to find out more about how they can take advantage of the fund should contact CBRE on 0114 273 8857.