Asset-owning regeneration companies mooted

Asset-owning regeneration companies mooted 

Ben Walker
Regeneration & Renewal

A new form of asset-owning regeneration company could feature in the upcoming local government white paper.

The city regeneration companies (CRCs) would be more powerful versions of urban regeneration companies, which coordinate physical renewal, but which do not own assets. The CRCs could have a stronger economic development role, cover a wider area and be able to borrow against civic assets to fund regeneration.

A senior source told Regeneration & Renewal that CRCs were included in recent drafts of the white paper, but it is not yet known what changes new communities secretary Ruth Kelly will make.

The source said that Manchester and Birmingham were likely to emerge as the frontrunners for CRCs, but Newcastle could also get one.

It is understood that the idea is based on the evolution of Sheffield One, a traditional city-centre URC that has since transmogrified into a city-wide body.

However, the source added that a ‘tension’ exists in Kelly’s department over whether CRCs should cover cities or city-regions.