Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone - Investment Fund
Decision Maker: Cabinet, Leader of the Council
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Decisions required on the implementation stages of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone.
Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report of the Assistant Chief Executive, which sought the Cabinet’s approval to establish a Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone (EZ) Investment Fund. Government arrangements for EZs allowed for any business rates growth within the Zone to be re-invested to stimulate further development. Wirral Council would therefore be able to use this growth to access and fund borrowing to increase investment within the Zone in order to bring forward development more quickly and to promote further growth.
An Investment Plan had been produced which set out an integrated economic and financial impact model together with governance and management arrangements to underpin the operation of the Fund.
A due diligence process had been carried out on the Investment Plan and this was outlined in the report. If the Investment Plan was approved, individual project proposals would be brought back on a case by case basis.
Councillor Phil Davies welcomed the report and described the proposal for an EZ as a very imaginative mechanism for enabling more investment into Wirral Waters. Two projects had already been delivered, the Wirral Metropolitan College at Twelve Quays and the Tower Wharf Contact Company building with other projects planned. The Council now needed to attract more such investment and an EZ was a tried tested mechanism for achieving this.
RESOLVED: That -
(1) the creation and operation of the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone Investment Fund, as detailed in the report, be approved.
(2) the investment potential for Phase 1 of £16m by 2020, funded by borrowing and repaid over the life of the Enterprise Zone from increased business rates income, be incorporated within the Capital Programme.
(3) the Council act as accountable body for the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone Investment Fund.
(4) each proposal to draw down funding be subject to project specific business cases coming forward for approval that address any delivery and affordability constraints and brought back to Cabinet on a case by case basis.
(5) the operating principles as set out in paragraph 2.16 of the report, be agreed.
(6) the governance, management structure and processes as set out in paragraph 2.17 of the report, be agreed.
(7) an annual report on the performance of the scheme be prepared and presented to Members.
Report author: David Armstrong
Publication date: 12/11/2015
Date of decision: 05/11/2015
Decided at meeting: 05/11/2015 - Cabinet
Effective from: 20/11/2015