Developing Consensus members have welcomed plans for the NELEP Investment Fund and urged its launch to be made a priority.

The fund, which is currently at the consultation stage, aims to support partnerships between the public and private sectors, with a focus on aiding ‘almost-viable’ privately-driven commercial projects.

David Furniss, Senior Director at BNP Paribas Real Estate and Head of the Developing Consensus Enabling Development Group, said: “There is a widespread acknowledgement that the private sector is finding it very difficult to  deliver the type of projects that will contribute to delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan and the now post-Covid recovery objectives, at the pace needed. A pro-active partnership between public and private sectors is one of the policy tools that can help support such development.

“The fund will bridge that gap and mirror similar successful, established projects currently running in Manchester, Liverpool and Northern Ireland.”

In a presentation made to members of Developing Consensus and the 1947 Club, feedback indicated that the fund was widely welcomed and a number of key points were submitted to help the fund progress further.

Sandra Manson, Senior Director at Pegasus Group, said: “We are fully onboard to work hand-in-hand with the public sector at pace. The fund is an excellent way to rebuild our region following the pandemic and could also be a key catalyst in breaking down barriers between the sectors, ensuring a strong development pipeline within the region.

“We hope the full process will be established as quickly as possible and streamlined so that applications can be submitted and approved within market timescales.”

Other points highlighted by Developing Consensus members included: encouraging the fund to be established as quickly as possible, ensuring that the market engagement and application process is straightforward and also that the fund looks at its relation to the zero carbon agenda.

David added: “Feedback from groups such as Developing Consensus and the 1947 Club has been incredibly valuable in shaping the fund and addressing any potential future obstacles before they come to fruition.

“A pilot fund has already been oversubscribed and there are 18 projects currently being considered. Our next steps involve the reviewing and actioning of feedback so far and the recruitment of a Fund Manager later in the year.”

To contact the NELEP Investment Fund about future pipeline projects, please see:

Matt Ebattson – Programme Manager North East LEP –
Simon Elliot – Partner & Head of Public Sector –
Chris Gill – Consultant ––