TIF boosts Newcastle investment enquiries

Thu 13th June 2013, 5:07 pm

Newcastle City Council has recorded a substantial rise in inward investment enquiries, partly thanks to its use of tax increment finance (TIF), according to chief executive Pat Ritchie.

Image by Tagishsimon, Wikimedia Commons

Speaking at the British Property Federation annual conference, in June, Ritchie said: "There has been quite an increase in enquiries over the last six months," especially from companies responding to the council's "innovative approach to joint investment" - using its land assets and borrowing powers to help bring forward deals.

Speaking to an audience of 310 property professionals, Ritchie outlined Newcastle's status as one of the country's largest accelerated development zones (ADZ), in which it can employ TIF to help fund infrastructure improvements.

"Using TIF powers we can retain 100 per cent of any business rate uplift from development, which allows us to take more risk with certainty of income in the future," Ritchie said. Of the council's £400 million capital programme, £96 million is allocated to supporting schemes in the ADZ.

TIF is being used to bring several schemes forward, including a four-star hotel and offices behind Central Station (in which RBS and Aviva Land Fund are involved), the former brewery site next to St James' Park (where a university research facility is relocating, alongside housing and offices) and a new sub-sea research centre on the River Tyne.

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