Senior councillors at the City of York Council’s Executive board have approved an agreement which sets out how the partners and landowners of the 45-hectare York Central site will deliver the ambitious regeneration plans.
The agreement details the contributions made by each of the partners – City of York Council, Network Rail, Homes England and the National Railway Museum – and how each of the costs will be repaid and risks rewarded, as the development is delivered. The project is set to deliver an additional £130m to invest in the city, as well as housing, growth and public spaces.
The Council will deliver the infrastructure needed to open up the site and will more than repay its original investments through both land receipts and the ability to retain 50% of business rates which would usually go to central government.
The business rates from York Central should more than repay the £35m the Council is borrowing and, in the best-case scenario, could bring in an extra £52m to reinvest in future economic development across the city.
Network Rail and Homes England will invest around £55m in buying and clearing land on the site. As master developers, they will then receive a maximum of 20% return on their investment. The Council could repay its initial investment and receive up to £77.1m to reinvest in building homes across the city.
Tamsin Hart-Jones, project lead from York Central Partnership, said: “York Central is one of the biggest opportunities to transform York in generations and the partnership agreement is an important milestone for the next phase of the development.
“Each of the partners has worked hard to get the York Central project to this point and develop a strong vision which will help to grow the local economy and bring much needed high-skilled, high-value jobs and homes to the city.
“The collective expertise and investment which each of the partners has brought to this project has been crucial to bring the plans forward and we look forward to continuing to work closely together as we move ahead with the development.”
The Council’s Executive signed-up to the Partnership Agreement on Thursday 17th January. The report also asked the Executive to:
- Release £6.25m to prepare the site ahead of core construction works
- Agree for the council to prepare:
- a business case to make sure that affordable housing is delivered in the first phase of the residential developments on site.
- proposals for economic development on the site
- proposals for the next phase of community development
The partnership agreement – who would do what?
|Partner||Role||Risk / investment||Reward|
|City of York Council||Deliver the infrastructure to open up the site
Attract inward investment
Potentially invest itself (for example in council housing)
Act separately as statutory planning and highway authority
|Conduit for grant funding:
Anticipated total £37m grant from West Yorkshire Transport Fund (West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund) to deliver access at front and rear of the station)
Anticipated £77.1m Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF)
£35m borrowed from York, North Yorkshire, East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership against future business rates
£5m WYTF levy
£10m from Economic infrastructure Fund
|Recover upfront investment and
Up to £77.1m from land sale receipts (capped at the equivalent of HIF grant) to reinvest in housing
50% of all business rates, which will cover the loan and up to £52m additional investment for local economic investment
|Homes England / Network Rail||Master developer – work with private sector partners to bring sites forward for development in line with the planning application||£55m land acquisition and clearance of current uses||Return from land receipts capped at 20%|
|National Railway Museum||The cultural heart of York Central
As a charitable organisation, NRM cannot undertake any development activity on non-Museum land, so will not share in either the York Central development costs or receipts
|Invested £1.14m so far to develop masterplan within context of wider scheme
Disposed of surplus land to Homes England to integrate into overall scheme
|As cultural anchor, continue to shape scheme
Land disposal facilitates early phases of £50m expansion plans