The West Midlands Combined Area has set aside £50 million to facilitate the regeneration of contaminated land in order that it may be used as sites for housing and for commercial development. This money, the Land Remediation Fund, has been secured from the government as part of the devolution deal for the West Midlands and is managed by Finance Birmingham.
Development in the West Midlands Combined Authority Area
The West Midlands, lying at the heart of England, is an important area of economic opportunity, with a number of predominantly brownfield development sites covering Greater Birmingham, Solihull, The Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire. The industrial legacy of the region means that many of these sites require restoration before they can be developed. The Land Remediation Fund is designed to minimise risks to private investors who are prepared to take on restoration projects in the area.
The aim of this Investment Fund is to support strong cities and diverse town centres by accelerating site regeneration and creating job opportunities in the region.
The initial investment is expected to deliver 1860 new jobs, 1600 new houses and 126,000 square metres of commercial space, as demanded by The Black Country Consortium.
Who Can Apply to This Fund?
Companies experienced in land remediation services are eligible to apply to the fund.
Applicants must have a proven track record in the regeneration of brownfield sites as well as be able to demonstrate value for money. Examples of such organisations include http://www.ashremediation.co.uk/, a company whose expertise lies in dealing with contaminated land and groundwater.
The amount of funding available to individual applicants has no minimum and a maximum of 20% of the fund. Access is via grants or gap funding, although other funding methods may be used if circumstances allow. Security may be requested. The maximum repayment period, if the funding is given as a loan, is 10 years.
The sites in question must be of a nature that development through normal capital markets is unlikely. Developments may be commercial or domestic in nature, although the fund will provide money for projects that are related to these. Examples where this will be considered include off-site infrastructure designed to make employment opportunities and housing more attractive to the market. Applicants need to provide evidence that this investment will result in returns.