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A farewell to two board members and the importance of challenging questions

Written by Chrysalis on . Posted in News

A farewell to two board members and a tribute to challenging questions

The Chrysalis Fund is shortly to lose two stalwart board members, Deputy Leader Ann McLachlan and Cabinet member for regeneration, Malcolm Kennedy. Both are withdrawing to become Lord Mayor of their respective patches, Wirral and Liverpool.

The Chrysalis board was established to balance sector expertise with local input. Three private sector members with investment, finance and property expertise, combine with two public sector members who introduce the City Region’s priorities and experience into our discussions.

As the fund manager with responsibility for making new commitments, we expect tough technical questions from the private sector representatives; identifying comparables, what scenarios have we tested, why a build has cost increased; and probing on strategy from the public sector representatives; how does this fit our strategy for the blue-green economy, how will this meet our specific regeneration goals?

Ann and Malcolm are nobody’s fool as they probe on strategy, but what has set them apart is their ability to ask difficult questions beyond the strategy. Such as Ann’s typical, “Mark, will you describe for me in your own words the risks of making this loan?” or “Why would we want to do business with these potential partners?”

There might be a technical answer to these questions but you cannot hide behind them. Ratios won’t do. You have to lay out the pitfalls as if you are investing your own money, explain what worries you and why you have it covered. You have to admit your concerns.

These questions, launched with precision, have given the Chrysalis board its real quality, bridged the gap between the technical and the strategic and made the Chrysalis team think twice about making assumptions.

We wish Ann and Malcolm great success in their new role. Chrysalis will miss their questions and we hope their replacements are similarly insightful.



Chrysalis Fund investments secure more than 3,000 regional jobs 

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More than 3,000 jobs have been created or safeguarded in the Liverpool city region as a result of investments made by the Chrysalis Fund.

The fund was launched in March 2012 to kick start regeneration across the region and has so far invested more than £34m into seven commercial development projects, with several further investments already in the pipeline.

High profile projects to have benefitted from the fund include Liverpool’s new Life Sciences Accelerator, which received an £11.5m investment, and the city’s Exhibition Centre, which opened a year ago following an £8m loan from the Chrysalis Fund.

Chrysalis Fund invests more than £2m in Aquila 118 project

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The Chrysalis Fund has agreed to invest almost £2.3m into the £5.3 million refurbishment of a major industrial and logistics facility at Huyton Business Park in Knowsley, Merseyside.

The former Goodrich aerospace engineering site, which has lain empty since late 2015, will be refurbished into a fit-for-purpose unit comprising 108,000 sq ft of industrial space and 10,000 sq ft of office space, to be known as Aquila 118.

Owned by UK real estate investment manager Barwood Capital through its 2012 Property Fund, the project will be led by specialist industrial development manager DB Symmetry. Works will commence immediately and are expected to be completed by early 2017.

Case Study: Accelerator

Written by Chrysalis on . Posted in Case Studies

Accelerating world class research in Liverpool

A £11.5m loan to a world class life science hub in Liverpool marked a key milestone for the Chrysalis Fund. Not only was it the largest commitment made by the fund to date, but it also enabled a new chapter in the city’s history – the opportunity to lead the global fight in antibiotic resistance.

The new £25m Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator co-locates the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and a raft of relevant SMEs for large scale industrial collaboration and product development partnerships.

Two Chrysalis Fund schemes achieve regional success

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Two Chrysalis backed-projects have scooped top regional awards for schemes driving economic growth in the North West.

New Capital Knowsley Ltd, the construction company behind a new warehouse development at Hornhouse Lane, received the Judges Choice Award at the Knowsley Business and Regeneration Awards.

The £34m Chrysalis Fund invested £2.4m into the 110,000 sq ft high quality, grade A warehouse space along with £1m from the European Regional Development Fund and a £1.5m Growing Places Fund loan. The scheme was the first large scale speculative warehouse development in the City Region for over six years.

Flagship Office Development Completes in Liverpool

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Work has completed on a flagship Liverpool office development backed by a £5.6m Chrysalis Fund loan.

The Watson Building on Renshaw Street has undergone an extension and extensive refurbishment as part of a £16.5m project by West Nile Development (WND). It will offer 74,000 sq ft of flexible Grade A office space situated next to the new Central Village scheme, which features a mix of office, retail and leisure space.

The completion marks a key investment by The Chrysalis Fund by helping to bring a vacant building back to life and creating office space for more than 700 jobs.

Chrysalis Fund invests £11.5m into new Liverpool life science centre

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The Chrysalis Fund has invested £11.5m into a world class life science hub in Liverpool marking its biggest commitment to date and paving the way for the city’s future in the sector.

The new £25m Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator will enable innovative research into antibiotic resistance and forms a key part of Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. 

It co-locates the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and a raft of relevant SMEs with larger scale industrial collaboration through pre-existing product development partnerships. The 70,000 square foot building will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space and offices.

John Tatham, partnerships director at Igloo and fund manager at the Chrysalis Fund, said: “This investment marks an important landmark for the fund. It demonstrates our ability to invest in projects that drive forward the city’s key strategic priorities of creating and retaining high value jobs and delivering economic growth.

Chrysalis Fund’s Nicola named in women of influence list

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Nicola Rigby, who is part of the Chrysalis Fund management team, has appeared in a prestigious business list highlighting influential business women.

Nicola, who is also a director within Billfinger GVA’s planning, development and regeneration team, has been recognised in North West Business Insider’s ‘women of influence’ list.

She joins around 100 other women from across a range of sectors including entrepreneurs, PR and marketing experts, professional services, hospitality, manufacturing, media, recruitment and charity.

“When we looked down the names of people who didn’t make the Women 100 list, we realised there were literally hundreds of women who were extremely influential in the region’s business community and we decided we had to recognise their contribution,” said Chris Maguire, editor of Insider.

The women of influence list will be published in August’s digital edition of Insider magazine.


Chrysalis Fund named in Property Power 100

Written by Chrysalis on . Posted in News

For the first time ever, Insider has publishing a Property Power 100 list – detailing the 100 most important people in the North West property scene and Chrysalis made the list.

John Tatham, fund manager at the Chrysalis Fund and Igloo Regeneration Partnerships Director featured among the top 100 ranking number 72.

People were invited to nominate names before the list was compiled. This list was then discussed with senior figures in the property scene and ended up being rewritten more than ten times as each name was researched. The final decision was made by Chris Maguire, editor of the North West Business Insider magazine.

To view the full Property Power 100 click here