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Three Projects to Boost York Economy Discussed Today


8:46am 4th December 2012

Cabinet Members are being asked to consider and approve three projects for funding, through its Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF), on 4 December 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 3 April 2012, City of York Council agreed the creation and governance of the £28.5 million EIF, over the next five years, to provide funding for projects of strategic importance to the city’s ambitions; acting as an economic stimulus to create jobs and grow the economy.  

In addition to the package of parking and lighting incentives - to get more people to experience York’s unique and vibrant retail and cultural offer over the Christmas period - announced last week, Cabinet are being asked to approve funds for York to be represented at MIPIM 2013, one of the worlds largest property events.

As part of the Leeds City Region (LCR) delegation, York representatives will target potential investors for key projects such as York Central at the event, which expects over 19,000 delegates and 83 countries to be present next year.

The £25,000 investment proposed for York, is part of a larger LCR investment of £150,000 and will enable the city to promote its assets and the opportunities available to key investors and developers from around the world, signalling the city if open for business on a global scale.

Cabinet will also be asked to approve investment in the revival of York’s community arts scene by supporting the creation of a unique, floating community arts venue in the city centre in the form of a renovated barge. The investment will build on the council’s earlier commitment to a media and cultural centre in York.

The Arts Barge Project (ABP) was established in 2009 and has created a number of different ways in which to showcase the work of communities and young people; promoting collaborative opportunities across age-groups and in mentoring young and emerging artists.

An initial investment £25,000 will support the Project team to purchase a barge for renovation. Further phased investments by the council will help bring the venue into working order. The Arts Barge Project is expected to match-fund the project and will invest £175,000 to the council’s total investment of £100,000. The council will monitor the project and carry out due diligence against the business plan at each stage of development. The council will hold a direct share in the barge until the project is complete to ensure that its investment is protected.

The project will provide a dedicated venue from which it can run activities, generate revenue and consolidate its status as a creative community hub.  It is proposed that the venue will be created from a reclaimed river barge which will integrate a café bar with performance and exhibition space as well as retail and workshop activities.

Cllr James Alexander, Labour leader of City of York Council said: “These investments will boost the city’s offer and enable us to showcase its assets on a local, national and international stage. MIPIM in particular will allow us to position York as a real destination for business in key growth sectors and by pooling resources as part of Leeds City Region, we are ensuring we deliver the greatest return for our investment.”

The EIF total spend to date and under consideration is £12.124 million, which leaves £16.376m left of the total EIF budget.

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