A property conference heard from Chrysalis Fund investment managers about the need for public funding to jump-start commercial projects in Merseyside.
Mark Bousfield and Iain Jenkinson were speaking at a recent PlaceEXPO event which was sponsored by the fund – ‘City Region Investment Strategies’.
Held at No 4 St Paul’s Square in Liverpool, PlaceEXPO has been running as part of the International Festival for Business and has featured a number of high profile property events covering a range of topics. It finishes on July 17th.
Speaking at the event, Mark told the audience of 100: “Investment is helping to jump start commercial projects in the Liverpool city region for projects commercial lenders might not consider.”
Significant projects around Liverpool city centre which have received loans from Chrysalis include the £40m exhibition hall extension to the Arena & Convention Centre at Kings Dock, which received an £8m loan, and Langtree’s £10m development on Duke Street pre-sold to Atlantic Container Lines for a new 40,000 sq ft head office, which received a £1.4m loan.
Joining Mark to describe the work of Chrysalis, which is backed by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund under the JESSICA programme, Iain said: “We are custodians of public money and there is more public money than there are projects – our job is to signpost to that. Our aim is to add value and not to crowd out traditional sources of funding.”
Also speaking at the event were representatives of the North West Evergreen Fund, which provides debt funding for commercial property and regeneration projects in the North West.
The audience also heard from Duncan Sutherland, non-executive board member for HS2, who gave a lively overview of the impact of the scheme. He said: “HS2 is driving plans for regeneration in various cities around the stations, and forces an alignment between policies and funding. Yes, we’re getting a railway line, but it is up to the individual cities to take the idea and run with it.”
The panel was also joined by Liverpool Vision‘s Jenny Douglas, who gave an overview of Liverpool’s strategic investment framework projects and Vision’s 15-year plan which incorporates a response to HS2 and the intention to develop around Lime Street station.
View and download slides at links below