Scheme is already working in Scotland

The government should urgently develop the Tax Increment Financing procurement model to provide a boost to the construction industry, leading developer Land Securities has said.

Speaking to Building, Land Securities’ head of retail development Lester Hampson said that the scheme was already working well in Scotland but was only being “slowly” adopted in England. It funds infrastructure by borrowing against future business rate income boosted by the resulting development.

Schemes north of the border set to benefit from Tax Increment Financing (Tif) include Glasgow’s Buchanan Quarter - an area developed by Land Securities and the subject of an £80m Tif proposal by the council.

“In Scotland, they don’t require primary legislation whereas in England they do,” Hampson said. “In a world where we want to encourage construction jobs and investment, this legislation is moving slower than anticipated. If you think, when do you need this stimulus, the answer is now.”

Land Securities, the largest commercial property company in the UK, is unusual in developing large retail schemes in a number of cities outside London.

These include the refurbishment and extension of the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow’s Buchanan Quarter, the development of the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds and feasibility work on a new shopping centre in Oxford.