THE English Cities Fund, a public–private partnership regeneration body launched by English Partnerships last year, is close to concluding a huge deal in east London.
The fund, which is a joint venture between English Partnerships, Amec Developments and Legal & General, is to take on the £600m revamping of Canning Town in the borough of Newham.

A source close to Newham council said: "The parties are thinking about heads of terms – it's going through the fund's board." The fund said an announcement about any scheme it is involved with would be made after it had signed a deal with local partners.

The Canning Town scheme is part of the 400 ha "Arc of Opportunity" regeneration project in east London.

The aim of this is to improve infrastructure, services, employment and housing in the Thames Gateway and Lee Valley districts.

Architect Shillam + Smith was appointed to masterplan the Canning Town part of the area late last year, and was given 12 months to complete the project.

We are looking at about three schemes. We would like to see the first one funded in the next couple of months

Alex Wilson, director, Legal & General

If it is concluded, the deal will be one of the first to be undertaken by the fund, which has also been named preferred bidder for the redevelopment of the Littlewoods building in the centre of Liverpool.

Alex Wilson, a director at Legal & General, said: "We are looking at about three or four schemes. We would like to see the first one funded in the next couple of months."

The English Cities Fund was set up in December last year to target deprived sites on the fringes of urban centres. The government supplied it with a dowry of £100m and the private sector partners are expected to contribute £150m.