Cabinet Members are being asked to consider and approve the funding of four new projects through its Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF) today (Tuesday 17th July 2012.)
The EIF is targeted to support five priorities for the council: Get York Moving; Digital York; Reinvigorate York; Economic Inclusion; and Building a Sustainable Economy.
At its meeting of 3rd April, City of York Council agreed the creation and governance of the £28.5 million EIF to provide funding for projects of strategic importance to the city's ambitions, in creating jobs and growing the economy.
The four projects identified will receive a total EIF investment of £1.73 million, are expected to leverage in over £2 million of additional funding and create more than 500 jobs for the city.
A package of measures is being proposed to further Reinvigorate York, reflecting the council's investment in the city centre as a key economic asset for the city. This would see the council commit £200,000 investment into further public realm works to ensure the city's public spaces are clean, modern, refurbished and attractive.
A Digital Media and Cultural Centre, providing affordable space for up to 250 small creative businesses over a period of five years, is also being put forward to cabinet. The development would receive funding in the form of a loan for £1.4 million but is subject to further detailed discussions on the terms of a building. It will respond to a strong market need for flexible city centre space for the digital and creative industries, as a key and growing industry for York.
Members will also consider a further £80,000 investment into Science City York; to provide the council with detailed sector knowledge, through increased engagement with businesses in target growth industries, networking organisations and other industry focused groups.
The Back le Bid campaign, to bring the Grand Depart for the Tour de France in 2016, is supported by the council and will be considered for a £50,000 EIF investment. As part of a region-wide initiative, a successful bid would mean significantly increased profile; visitor numbers and the associated spend in the city as a result.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour leader for City of York Council comments:
"The Economic Infrastructure Fund was created to kick-start key projects for the city that otherwise would not be possible in the difficult current economic climate.
"These new projects would leverage over £2 million of external funding into the city, and create over 500 jobs. This would signal a significant step forward in delivering on our priority to ensure the viability of the city is secured long-term."