Discussions are being held between Manchester City Council and English Partnerships over whether a local asset-backed regeneration model could be used to give parts of the city a new lease of life.
Options for creating the vehicle, which may include sites such as the one earmarked for the failed supercasino in east Manchester, and could involve as much as £800m, are currently being explored.
Input is currently being sought from parties including the North West Development Agency, and no advisers have yet been appointed.
LABVs work by creating a new company, in which the public sector invests by transferring land and property assets. A private sector partner is then appointed (via a competition) who will invest cash in the new company to match the public sector investment.
The LABV itself then works to a delivery business plan using the cash and assets. It is run as a commercial business and will provide a financial return to its investors – for both the public and private sector investors.
Half the regional development agencies in England have now adopted their use as a means to manage and develop their property holdings.
English Partnerships is currently working with other councils, such as Sunderland, Birmingham, Carlisle and Coventry, on similar plans.