Brentwood Borough Council launches innovative joint venture

13th September 2019

Brentwood Borough Council launches innovative joint venture

Brentwood Borough Council has a number of underperforming property assets and is determined to make much better use of them and release their very significant latent value.

It therefore set 5 key objectives to be delivered from an asset development programme:

  • To optimise opportunities from a portfolio of property assets that will generate new long-term financial returns (both capital and revenue)
  • To secure a partnership that delivers a greater total financial return to the Council than the return which could be achieved through its current approach
  • To drive the pace of development
  • To develop a quality brand for the developments, aimed at safeguarding the long-term financial prosperity of the partnership
  • To build a long-term relationship with partners with aligned objectives/visions and to utilise their expertise

The result of this was that, on 30th July 2019, Brentwood Borough Council approved the formation of a £1bn joint venture with Morgan Sindall Investments. The joint venture will bring forward new homes, public open spaces and commercial and leisure facilities in the borough.

The 50:50 partnership, to be known as the Brentwood Development Partnership, will deliver a programme of developments over a 30-year period, combining Morgan Sindall Investments’ development expertise and private capital with a portfolio of the Council’s sites. The Council will contract through its, wholly owned property company, Seven Arches Investments Ltd.

Through the intervention of the East of England LGA (EELGA) the scheme also allows the Council to act as a central purchasing body through which other local contracting authorities in Essex can procure a similar partnership with Morgan Sindall Investments.

Andrew Rowson, from EELGA’s Talent Bank, led EELGA’s input and he provided strategic direction and “critical friend challenge’ throughout. A key decision he took was to bring on board a specialist market leading financial and joint venture consultancy practice, 31ten Consulting, to carry out the extensive business case development and the financial modelling and appraisal work as part of EELGA’s strategic and financial adviser role.  The role of 31ten Consulting was crucial in helping the Council deliberate and work through the many options it had in how to approach the market.

Brentwood Borough Council Leader, Councillor Chris Hossack, said: “We are delighted to have officially confirmed our new joint venture partnership with Morgan Sindall Investments, which represents a significant milestone for Brentwood.

“This approach to delivering new investment will allow us to retain control over how our land is developed, as well as the rate and extent of that development. It is a real opportunity to allow the community to thrive and grow, and by redeveloping the borough over the longer-term we will be helping to improve the lives of people living and working here.”

For more information about this project, you can read the full Case Study here or contact our Senior Manager, Eddie Gibson on 01284 758310 or eddie.gibson@eelga.gov.uk

 

 A view of Brentwood Borough Council’s Town Hall which is itself being remodelled and refurbished to provide flats as well as Council accommodation – exemplifying the Council’s ambition and commercial approach to the use of assets.

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