Jessica emerges as Chrysalis in Liverpool

The launch of Merseyside's new urban investment fund will take place next Thursday 15 March at the Hope Street Hotel as part of the city's week-long Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

Speakers will include Jim Gill, independent chairman of the Chrysalis Fund Board, Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council and a member of the fund management committee, Frank Lee, head of holding funds and advisory for Northern Europe at the European Investment Bank, and a senior representative from the Igloo consortium, made up of fund manager Igloo Regeneration, surveyor GVA and credit advisor Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets.

The fund will have less than four years to spend £30m in the form of loans in projects that are otherwise unviable and cannot get bank finance. Jessica stands for the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas. The fund is underwritten by the European Investment Bank. The North West has two funds; one for Merseyside and another for the rest of the North West, called Evergreen, which will also launch soon. The Jessica monies were sourced from the European Regional Development Fund and North West Development Agency.

The £30m Chrysalis pot will be drawn down as loans by the fund managers and must be allocated to projects by the end of 2015 and repaid by March 2022.

Chrysalis cannot invest more than 20% of its total fund in one project – capping the loans it makes at £6m – and cannot pay for more than 50% of the cost of a project. Projects with B1, B2 and B8 planning use classes – offices, general industry and distribution.

The invitation-only Chrysalis launch takes place at Hope Street Hotel, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9DA, between 4pm and 6pm on Thursday 15 March.

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