Sheffield City Council has today announced that its new retail quarter will be led by a public/private fund.

New plans will give Sheffield more control, will speed up the delivery of the scheme, and could also provide the Council with an income stream in the future.

The Council confirmed it already has strong interest from investors, and today announces the proposal to an audience of financiers and developers.

The Council will now bring forward the Sheffield Investment Fund. The Fund will allow the Council and its partners to unlock critical development across Sheffield city centre. Project number one will be the New Retail Quarter.

The Fund will allow the Council to work with new development and investment partners. This innovative approach of local government working in partnership with the private sector, will focus on creating a distinctive city centre to cement Sheffield’s position as one of the UK’s leading cities and further its economic and social success.

The Fund will initially be wholly owned by Sheffield City Council who will be able to inject both the land holdings that it controls, and the Tax Incremental Finance (TiF) required for vital infrastructure, into it.

The Fund, due to be officially launched in the summer of 2014, will be managed by CBRE Capital Advisors, one of the world’s largest property investment management firms, who will develop an investment and stewardship model for Sheffield.

The City Council will be showcasing this to a network of over 4,000 investors and 460 journalists from 80 different countries across the world.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development at Sheffield City Council said:

“This is about us adopting a different, more innovative approach, just like the work currently underway with St Paul’s 3, bringing much needed grade A office space to the city and a potential 700 additional jobs.

By setting up the Fund and  working in complete partnership with the private sector we can speed up the delivery of the New Retail Quarter by at least 2 or 3 years.

The Fund will work the same as the investment fund Scottish Widows do on the Moor. We will work in partnership with the private sector to bring further investment to Sheffield and deliver what is probably the most exciting development opportunity in the UK at this time.”

Sheffield City Council is now seeking to secure development and investment partners to deliver the New Retail Quarter, a retail and leisure led scheme in the city centre of up to 600,000 square feet. This development will be the first major stage of investment activity, generating major uplifts in income and capital value with subsequent business rate growth.

Sheffield has already had great success in terms of its regeneration, not least in its public realm. As the market recovers, the Council wants the pace of development to accelerate.

Councillor Bramall continued:

“The market has moved, retail has changed, and we intend to capitalise on this and deliver the promised outcome for the city centre. This is about us achieving the same results with a different approach. Taking control of our destiny by working hand in hand with the private sector so that we can make effective use of all the tools we have available like Tax Incremental Finance through our New Development Deal with Government as well as land holdings we have.”