£100m plan for 1,500 new jobs and 1,000 new homes
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A plan for a new fund is set to help create around 1,500 jobs and help deliver 1,000 new homes.
In establishing the Essex Renewal Fund, Essex County Council wants to secure more than £100million of investment into Essex over the next 20 years, creating not just jobs, but bringing to market enough land for other parties to develop for much-needed housing.
The council says the project will support its commitment to good jobs, future growth and investment, green growth, levelling up the economy, transport and built environment, healthy lifestyles, education outcomes, levelling up families and net-zero.
Councillor Lesley Wagland, Essex County Council cabinet member for economic renewal, infrastructure and planning, said: “The Essex Renewal Fund will benefit our areas of improvement, providing new skills opportunities, investment into our high streets and supporting our residents and businesses.
“This is a very exciting time for Essex, and we will now implement our plans for the fund to get underway.”
Following initial seed funding from the council, the fund will eventually become self-financing, allowing the council to continue delivering projects that the property market will not deliver or may not deliver to such high standards.
This will be a revolving fund investing only within the administrative county of Essex – net income and the capital receipts will be reinvested into future fund activity.
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Capital receipts later in the life of the fund may also be available for use by the council to fund its wider capital programme.
The council has identified three types of investment. The first is development and refurbishment projects where the primary use is non-residential. The second is development land projects where the council will acquire land and promote a development scheme to influence the location. Third is quality and uses of developments and income-generating assets where the primary use is nonresidential but where, upon completion, the council chooses to retain the asset for the rental income
However, the value of assets and investments can increase or decrease, so there are potential reputational risks for the council should the fund invest in projects that might be or become unpopular.