A new public-private partnership has been created to kick start a £350M regeneration project of Bournemouth’s town centre.
Known as ‘The Bournemouth Development Company’, the partnership will bring about major investment in the town centre over the next 20 years, including new family attractions, homes, shops and business units as well as improvements to public spaces.
The 50-50 partnership, known as a Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV), will see Bournemouth Borough Council investing in each site when development is imminent, alongside partner Morgan Sindall’s investment in its market value. Bournemouth becomes the first coastal town in the UK to team up with the private sector in this way after signing the deal on 17 February.
The deputy leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, Councillor John Beesley said: “This is a great milestone. Our search for a partner with whom to deliver many elements of the Town Centre Vision attracted world-class companies and we were particularly impressed with the proposal from Morgan Sindall Investments. As well as having the financial ability to help deliver the vision, they have demonstrated a strong commitment to Bournemouth and have an impressive track record.
“By forming this partnership we’re helping secure Bournemouth’s future as a premier destination, working with some of the nation’s most talented urban designers and architects to bring major improvements, without impacting financially on council taxpayers.”
Leyton Mount Car Park has been earmarked as the first major site to be developed by The Bournemouth Development Company, with early plans including a number of homes for family living with ancillary retail in the form of shops or cafes. A new multi-storey car park is planned for Madeira Road and profit from these early schemes will help fund improvements to Westover Road.
At least 14 other sites in the town, including Cotlands Road and the Bath Road South car parks, are expected to be developed and others may be acquired within the life of the partnership.
Morgan Sindall Investments joint project director Duncan Johnston said: “We’re excited to be playing such a pivotal role in Bournemouth’s future. Through this long-term partnership we hope to enhance Bournemouth’s already strong heritage to bring landmark improvements. A partnership of this kind is truly cutting edge and what we achieve here will be an example to the rest of Europe.”
Law firm Pinsent Masons acted for Bournemouth Borough Council in relation to the scheme, and partner Alan Aisbett said: “We are delighted to have acted in relation to this LABV for Bournemouth Borough Council. Closing this latest deal, in conjunction with the leading edge LABV projects we have already closed as well as the guidance we have developed for Government bodies, clearly highlights that we are a market leader in structuring alternative financing models.
“We are shortly due to close further LABV projects to add to our portfolio. The developing trend in this area clearly evidences the use of these types of model as a viable delivery mechanism for public sector assets in the current market climate. Our recently issued guidance on the whole area of alternative financing models is proving very timely.”