New fund aims to boost development

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The hunt is on for developers who could benefit from a £23 million fund, designed to back commercial property and infrastructure projects that could boost economic growth in the Sheffield City Region.

More than 100 members of the local business community attended the launch of the Sheffield City Region JESSICA Fund.

The programme is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Government’s Growing Places Fund and is part of an initiative to provide Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas – hence JESSICA.

The JESSICA Fund aims to provide capital for projects for which commercial funding is currently difficult to find, with an emphasis on office and industrial developments

Loans of up to £4.3 million are available at competitive commercial rates for individual regeneration projects and the plan is to use loan repayments to fund further projects.

Sheffield City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, Leigh Bramall, said: “This fund will stimulate growth and overcome barriers to growth in the development and property sectors.

“The way we have set up this fund puts us in a strong position to meet the needs specific to our local economy.”

Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership chairman James Newman says the fund is a direct response to repeated warnings from construction companies that difficulties finding finance have been a major barrier to development.

“We expect to see a return on the investments, which will then be recycled into further projects over the next 10 years,” said Mr Newman.

Property consultant CBRE is handling applications for assistance from the Sheffield City Region JESSICA Fund. For further information visit: www.scrjessica.co.uk.