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22/03/2019
WMCA to introduce new framework for £610m investment to accelerate delivery of land for housing and jobs

Over half a billion pounds of funding to help unlock land and accelerate the creation of new homes and jobs will be delivered through a single framework by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The WMCA Board has today (March 22) approved a Single Commissioning Framework (SCF) to efficiently deliver £610m of funding to kickstart developments across the region.

The authority says it will release funds linked to developments that meet its key goals, including tackling youth and long-term unemployment, securing affordable housing, maximising public transport connectivity and supporting advanced methods of construction.

Cllr Mike Bird, portfolio holder for housing and regeneration and leader of Walsall Council, said:

The WMCA wants to ensure 215,000 new homes are built in the region by 2031, and its role is to help enable and speed up developments for local authorities.

The Single Commissioning Framework clearly sets out WMCA’s key priorities on affordable homes, brownfield regeneration and schemes which help attract investment into our region. “By introducing a single framework for all funding bids, the WMCA can distribute more than half a billion pounds of funding quickly and efficiently, helping to speed up developments and, ultimately, the regeneration and growth of our cities and towns.”

The SCF will include devolved housing and land funds the WMCA has already secured from Government, and will only relate to WMCA funding.

In a separate report approved by the WMCA Board today, the original £70m commercial investment fund was increased to £140m, and the Board agreed that fund, along with the £70m residential investment fund, will now be distributed through the new SCF.

Investments already made through these funds are on track to deliver:

  • 2,528 new jobs
  • 62.54 acres of brownfield land for redevelopment
  • £58.5m of private sector leverage
  • 1,245,683 sq ft of new commercial space
  • £3,798,972 of new business rates

The SCF will also include the £50m brownfield land and property development fund, the £100m land fund, and the Housing Deal infrastructure fund (including £165m for Perry Barr and £85m for other infrastructure).

Earlier this week, the WMCA announced a multi-million pound deal to remediate 44 acres of industrial wasteland at the Phoenix 10 site in Walsall – and it will use the SCF to promote further regeneration projects like this.

Schemes seeking to tap into the authority’s housing and land funds through the SCF must deliver one of three key outputs, including:

  • remediation of brownfield land which can then be made available for development
  • the delivery of new housing on sites identified for development in local plans, or sites which unexpectedly become available for development
  • schemes with new commercial/employment/retail developments, delivered with job densities consistent with the Strategic Economic Plan target of creating 500,000 new jobs in the region by 2030

The WMCA intends to have the SCF in place by April 1, 2019.

ENDS

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