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Saturday, March 03, 2018

Progress made on Development Company initiative

A new Development Company is being formed by West Lancashire Borough Council to help the authority deliver ambitious and exciting projects for local people.

The Council has worked on several successful major projects for housing, and for commerce. Examples include in Firbeck, Skelmersdale, the current Westec development in Ormskirk, and the Greenwood Business Centre, Skelmersdale.

This has highlighted the benefits of undertaking similar schemes to generate income for the Council and support its priorities around being ambitious for the Borough.

The new Company will do a number of things including building new homes for sale and rent and shared ownership houses, which are geared towards helping people take their first steps towards home ownership.

At its meeting on 28 February the Council's Cabinet agreed to progress the project and agreed an implementation plan which could see the company go live in Autumn 2018, provided all final arrangements are approved by the Council.

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, said: "By setting up the Company, initially in Shadow format, the Council will be making significant progress towards this key project.

“One of the Council’s top priorities is to be ambitious for the local economy by developing commercial and residential property. This would help support new and growing businesses, retain and grow jobs and increase the number of residents in the area. The Development Company will help the Council achieve that and generate income for the authority through Council Tax and Business Rates to support frontline services and more exciting projects."

To help the Development Company become successful it will be given key objectives. These include:

  • Creating a focus on delivery and providing a mechanism for the Council to build new homes for sale and rent, regeneration and commercial and industrial schemes
  • Secure additional private and Government investment into the Borough
  • Create relationships with landowners, developers and investors which deliver financial and regeneration benefits
  • Maximise appropriate development and accelerate growth by providing property and commercial expertise.

The decision made by Cabinet on 28 February 2018 is subject to the Council's call-in process.

It is anticipated that a report to Councillors in the autumn will seek the final approval for this project.

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