Regeneration experts have formed a group with the aim of encouraging developers and housebuilders to invest in 39 key government projects
The group was set up following a government-run regeneration summit at Windsor Castle three weeks ago. It aims to attract more private finance into the 39 New Deal for Communities schemes set up by the ODPM since 1998.
Jack Davies, chief executive of South Kilburn NDC, chairs the as yet unnamed body. He said: “We are effectively halfway through the NDC programme. The first half was about engaging the public sector and the second half has to be about engaging the private sector and attracting sustainable investment.”
Davies is keen for developers and other investors to match any public sector funding for renewal schemes such as new housing and take a corresponding share of the profits.
To date, the government has ear-marked £2bn for the 39 schemes in the most deprived areas of England.
Davies added: “We’re saying: ‘Hey, regeneration is an area you should be involved in and there are sound business reasons for it’.
“We have been having these types of discussions before now, but to be honest they needed some more focus on the private sector to really push things through.”
We are saying regeneration is an area you should be involved in
Jack Davies, South Kilburn NDC
He added that the private sector could bring expertise in introducing a mix of uses to deprived areas.
The advisory group will meet “as and when is required” and consists of 12 NDC bosses as well as representatives from housing associations, developers and funders.
Anu Vedi, chief executive of Genesis Housing Group, attended the Windsor summit. He said: “The perception of NDCs is they are a disparate group and the impression in the past has not always been that good. So for me this is an excellent way to get a better message across.”
According to Davies, the Windsor summit spent “Ninety per cent of its time discussing NDCs – this was by far the most important issue”.