This report is due to be pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee scheduled to take place on 23rd June 2022. Any recommendations that are made by the Committee on this subject will be reported in a supplementary pack for the consideration of the Executive Committee.
The Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure Services presented the Redditch Town Centre Regeneration Business Cases report for the Executive Committee’s consideration. In presenting the report, it was highlighted that since the original publication of the report, updated copies of the business cases had been issued in supplementary packs for the meeting.
In 2019, the Government invited over 100 towns across the country, including Redditch, to submit bids for a town’s deal. Redditch Borough Council had submitted a bid to the Government in January 2021 and had subsequently been awarded in excess of £15 million to spend on particular regeneration projects in the town centre. Whilst these projects had already been agreed, the business cases that had been developed for the report to the Executive Committee in June 2022 provided more detailed information about the actions proposed. The content of these business cases would inform summary statements to the Government, which were due to be submitted by 29th June 2022.
There were three key schemes in the Redditch Town Deal, which had previously been approved by the Government:
· Development of a Redditch Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre
· Redditch Town Centre Public Realm works
· Redevelopment of the Redditch Library site
In respect of the Redditch Library site, the Government had granted an extension for submission of a detailed business case setting out proposals for the future. This business case would be the subject of a further report to the Executive Committee, which was due to be considered in September 2022.
The business cases that had been submitted for the Executive Committee’s consideration had been drafted by external consultants, Mott MacDonald. Based on the company’s assessment, Members were advised that it was anticipated that the proposals for the Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre would be over budget by approximately £2 million. Similarly, the estimated costs for the public realm works were likely to be over budget, although there were actions that could be taken to address this, including through use of funding from other sources to cover the total costs.
In line with Government requirements, a Redditch Town’s Deal Board, comprising representatives of the public, private and voluntary and community sectors (VCS), had been established to consider proposals in respect of the Town’s Deal. The Board had been consulted on the content of the business cases prior to the Executive Committee’s consideration.
During consideration of this item, the Interim Section 151 Officer was invited to outline the financial implications of the proposals for Members’ consideration. The Committee was advised that, as part of the process, the Section 151 Officer needed to be comfortable with and to approve the business cases in order for the submission to the Government to proceed.
Members were advised that £8 million had originally been allocated to the Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre. However, the business case had identified that £10 million would in fact need to be allocated to this project. This estimate included a figure of £1.5 million that had been allocated to contingency costs, ... view the full minutes text for item 18