District Council proposes new approach to delivering developments and regeneration across South Kesteven

Large-scale development and regeneration projects could be delivered more quickly and efficiently in the future if plans by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) get the go-ahead.

In a shake-up to the current approach, the District Council is proposing to form a joint venture called DeliverSK that would be responsible for creating a pipeline of development and regeneration projects and taking them from the concept stage through to completion.

Potential projects include medium to large-scale housing developments, including social and affordable homes; office and employment space; leisure facilities and mixed-use regeneration schemes.

Under the proposals, DeliverSK would be a 50:50 joint venture between SKDC and a private company that has experience managing, funding and delivering large-scale developments. Equal numbers of representatives from both organisations would sit on the DeliverSK board as unpaid Directors and both sides would need to agree for a project to be pursued.

Detailed business plans would be produced for preferred schemes for approval by the DeliverSK board. Proposals requiring the use of council-owned land or the investment of council money would also be subject to the usual council scrutiny and approvals process.

The proposed joint venture or 'investment partnership' approach is currently being used successfully by a number of local authorities locally and elsewhere in the country, including Cambridge City and Peterborough City Council, where it has led to the city's largest regeneration project in decades at Fletton Quays.

Commenting on the plans, the Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Councillor Matthew Lee, said: "DeliverSK is another important step in delivering on our commitment to help grow the local economy, with all the benefits and opportunities that will create for our residents.

"As a District Council, we have an important role to play in delivering key developments and physical regeneration projects across South Kesteven; schemes that will improve residents' quality of life and help stimulate further development and investment by the private sector.

"To be blunt, the approach SKDC has taken in recent years hasn't delivered far enough or fast enough, with too many proposals falling at the final hurdle. Working with an experienced private sector partner as part of DeliverSK will help us change that.

"DeliverSK will allow us to take a much more flexible, commercial approach, while ensuring the council can scrutinise and approve any decisions involving council-owned land or projects requiring further council investment."

The proposal is seeking approval from the SKDC Cabinet to create DeliverSK. The Council would then be asked to approve investment of up to £100,000 in start-up costs for DeliverSK and a further £500,000 for working capital, which successful projects would return for use on future schemes, thereby 'recycling' the original investment.

DeliverSK will complement the work of InvestSK, which was formed in October 2017 to help grow the economy by attracting new companies into the district and support existing businesses to grow and thrive as well as promote art, culture and the visitor economy.

For general media enquiries: Email the SKDC communications team at pr@southkesteven.gov.uk or call 01476 406498 or 406440.