The £30m Chrysalis Fund Launches in Merseyside

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New funding to kick start employment creating projects in Merseyside, the £30m Chrysalis Fund, was officially launched in Liverpool today. Leaders from Liverpool and across the North-West, as well as Fund’s board members, European officials and advisors came together to announce details of the £30m fund aimed at investment in commercial property and regeneration projects across Merseyside over the next three years.

The funding comes from the North West’s share of the European Regional Development Fund under the JESSICA, Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas initiative. This initiative is supported by the European Investment Bank and handled in the Northwest by the Homes and Communities Agency.

Following today’s launch, developers and investors will be able to apply for investment funding from The Chrysalis Fund. This will be available for investment until December 2015.

Jim Gill, Chairman of the Chrysalis Fund’s Board, said: “The Chrysalis Fund provides a great opportunity for us to kick start some important development projects in the City Region. The Board is looking forward to making some early investments and, in the longer term,   expanding the Fund and broadening its investments scope so that Chrysalis can fulfil its potential to become a primary facilitator of growth for the area.”

Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank Vice President for the United Kingdom said: “Unlocking new urban investment funding for Merseyside will stimulate sustainable growth across theNorth West. The European Investment Bank will look at providing additional funding for projects supported by Chrysalis, as well as passing on experience from similar schemes acrossEurope.”

Cllr Joe Anderson, Liverpool City Council Leader, said: “A huge amount of hard work and dedication has been put into the development of Chrysalis from across the Merseyside authorities and the Consortium. Chrysalis is an innovative approach to economic development and it will provide Merseyside with new opportunities and options.”

Iain Jenkinson, investment agent for the Chrysalis Fund, said: “This is a great opportunity for the Liverpool City Region. The Chrysalis Fund is a dedicated investment vehicle, which supports key economic growth and regeneration, with an ability to make sub-commercial investments into projects, providing Merseyside with a competitive advantage over other core cities and sub-regions.

“The Consortium is very pleased to be working with its public sector partners to manage the project investments and create a sustainable legacy fund following the first round of investments. The initial call for projects is now open and we look forward to working with the developers of eligible projects.”

Councillor Phil Davies, Local member of the North West European Regional Development Fund Local Management Committee, said; “The Chrysalis Fund is of huge importance to Merseyside. ERDF funding is all about boosting local economies and the significant amount of money being invested in this project from the North West Programme signifies how key it is. The local economy, local businesses and local people will all benefit from the major works made possible by this fund.”

Deborah McLaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA added: “We are committed to working with our local partners to develop innovative funding models that will help underpin Merseyside’s long-term growth and stability. The launch of this fund provides developers and investors with a great opportunity to regenerate significant urban sites and play an important role in helping to kick start Merseyside’s economic recovery.”

The Chrysalis Fund will be used to develop high quality strategic urban sites and premises in Merseyside, recognised as being of regional importance. This will support growth of high value and knowledge-based sectors, through improved offices, industrial units, warehousing and distribution.

The new fund will extend financing options available for urban projects in theNorth Westby making senior and mezzanine debt available to fund projects that support sustainable growth. Investing through such a revolving fund instrument helps increase the impact and extend the availability of the European Regional Development Funds in the region. The finance will either supplement existing debt from mainstream banks or sit alongside the developer’s equity with the aim of unblocking schemes that the financial markets will currently not finance at the required level.

The Fund is managed by the Igloo Consortium, which is made up of Igloo Regeneration Limited, GVA and RBC Capital Markets.

There is a maximum lot size of £6m of ERDF funding (£12m total including match) in any single project.