Manchester city centre

AGMA recruits ‘investment group’

Paul Unger

The ten Greater Manchester councils have set aside a budget of up to £1m to hire advisors who can source investors for a development consortium to resurrect '60 or 70' property schemes in the city region.

An invitation to tender was published this week calling for advisors to help identify viable projects and bring them to market, as well as securing private investors and public sector funding. The panel of advisors will be appointed for 12 months with an option to renew for three years.

The advisory framework is being put together on behalf of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities by Viren Gandhi, head of procurement at Transport for Greater Manchester, one of the agencies within AGMA's control.

Gandhi's invitation for bids states: "The contract is for the provision of funding advisory services to support the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities' project to establish an investment partnership with private sector investors to deliver property development and other projects to support the economic development of the area.

"The AGMA Investment Group has been established through the AGMA joint working arrangements to develop a model for securing both public and private sector funding to support successful, fundable projects. These projects are aimed at delivering new employment and other outcomes that in turn will contribute to the economic growth of the area.

"An initial pipeline has been identified of 60-70 projects across Greater Manchester. Work is currently underway in conjunction with the AGMA authorities to better define these projects in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities within Greater Manchester and the barriers that currently prevent them being brought to market.

"The projects will be identified on a sector-by-sector basis including economic development, housing, low carbon, transport, broadband and business support. As the projects are identified, the core team will work to ensure that their strategic fit with AGMA priorities is assessed, together with the project's viability, constraints and time to market. This initial review will form a platform for a comprehensive investment strategy to be developed that will use public and private funding to address constraints and bring the projects to market within a managed timescale.

"Through aligning investment with those projects that deliver the greatest growth, it is hoped to achieve a self-sustaining model in which private investors gain increased confidence in the area; promoting growth and further enhancing the economic performance across Greater Manchester."

The ten councils in AGMA are Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Wigan, and Bolton.

AGMA envisages between four and six advisory firms being appointed to the panel. The deadline for accessing application documents is 8 November and submitting bids 22 November. The shortlisted bidders are expected to be invited to make detailed presentations before 9 December.

No one from AGMA was available for further comment.

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