Up to half a million pounds will be invested in the economic development of the Plymouth as part of a lasting legacy left by the City Development Company.
The fund has been created as part of the closure arrangements for the City Development Company. Its board of directors resolved to close the company in August following a series of government funding announcements which included the abolition of the Regional Development Agency as well as reductions in the budgets of the Homes and Communities Agency and Plymouth City Council.
The CDC will now be formally wound up following a board resolution which recommended to members that the Company undertake a Members Voluntary (solvent) Liquidation taken on Friday, November 12.
James Brent, Chairman of the CDC said: “Once it became clear that the public sector partners were not in a position to fund the CDC after April 2011, the board of directors were keen to ensure its closure was completed as swiftly as possible so that a legacy fund could continue to drive key aspects of the Plymouth’s economic strategy.
“I am delighted to say that each of the three funding partners has agreed to place the remainder of the CDC’s 2010/11 budget into a legacy fund rather than seeking to claw back this funding.”
The newly-created economic development fund will target four key areas of the Local Economic Strategy previously led by the CDC. These include strategic marketing, inward investment, coordinating Plymouth’s six priority sectors and the provision of economic data.
The initial priority will be rolling out the Positively Plymouth branding initiative which will be lead by Matthew Cross, formerly Director of Inward Investment and Marketing at the CDC. The branding initiative will be coordinated by Destination Plymouth with inward investment led by the Council.
As part of the legacy arrangement, the Chamber of Commerce will take the lead for coordinating the city’s six priority sectors as well as responsibility for chairing the city’s high speed broadband initiative.
Engagement with the private sector will be driven forward by the Local Strategic Partnership’s Wealthy Theme Group, chaired by Douglas Fletcher, which has recently been restructured with new eight private sector members.
The science and innovation agenda will be driven forward, through the recently formed Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN), the University of Plymouth will lead a powerful group of stakeholders from all sectors and interests in the city to harness and marshal innovation which is central to improving productivity and future wealth creation prospects.
The city’s ambitious physical regeneration programme as set out in the Local Development Framework will be continued to be driven by the Council. The legacy fund will be managed by the Council’s economic development service which was created in 2009 to drive the Local Economic Strategy.