HCA welcomes publication of RDA land and property asset list
Published date : 26 August 2011
Commenting on publication today by BIS of the list of Regional Development Agency (RDA) land and property assets transferring to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the HCA, said:
“Today’s announcement marks a key milestone in the RDA land and property asset transfer to the HCA. We look forward to the completion of this process, and building on our existing relationships with local partners to deliver the best outcome for local communities through future development and disposal of the former RDA assets.”
The HCA will work with local partners to develop, invest in and dispose of assets, through stewardship arrangements, in pursuit of the economic development and regeneration objectives agreed by local partners including Local Enterprise Partnerships and in support of local strategies.
HCA will be establishing Local Stewardship Partnerships with the Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, businesses and other local partners, who will play a key role in helping to determine the future of these assets in line with local objectives. The assets will sit as a National Programme within the HCA’s work, who will be accountable to Government for the effective management and disposal of the portfolio.
This transfer is the second stage of RDA asset transfer to the HCA. In August, the Agency inherited a portfolio of 52 coalfield land and property assets from the RDAs, the majority of which were previously owned by the Agency (formerly English Partnerships) as part of the National Coalfields Programme.
The process to transfer the remaining RDA land and property assets to the HCA is due for completion on September 19.
Read the list of RDA assets scheduled to transfer to the HCA.
Find out more about RDA assets.
For more media information please contact Helen Stoddart in the HCA press office, 020 7874 8263 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The HCA has already inherited a portfolio of 52 coalfield land and property assets from the RDAs, the majority of which were previously owned by the Agency (formerly English Partnerships) as part of the National Coalfields Programme. Since it began in 1996, the National Coalfields Programme has delivered over 2,800 hectares of land brought back into use and an estimated 21,000 jobs and attracted around £1bn of private sector investment.
In addition, 4 RDA members of staff have transferred to the HCA under TUPE regulations to continue managing the coalfields work.
The remaining RDA asset portfolio currently transferring to the HCA will sit as a National Programme within the HCA’s work. There will be a transfer of staff from the RDAs to the HCA in accordance with TUPE regulations. The exception is London where the London Development Agency’s assets will be transferred to the GLA (see below).
The closure of the 9 Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) for England was announced in the Budget on 22 June 2010. The RDAs were created by primary legislation through the Regional Development Agencies Act in 1998 and legislation will therefore be required to close them. For the 8 RDAs outside London this will be through the Public Bodies Bill. For the London Development Agency it will be the Localism Bill, since changes to the government of London more generally are also being made through that bill.
The key benefits of the HCA’s stewardship arrangement are to:
- Offer influence in circumstances where local authorities and community organisations are not in a position to pay market value for assets.
- Re Tax Challenges through a state to state transaction avoiding the tax and local authority borrowing challenges.
- Give local partners time to align assets with new Government economic growth programmes, and for longer term RDA projects inherited in the asset base to reach full maturity. This will maximise value for money.
- Avoid sales at low value reducing the risk of the market being flooded by mass sales of assets at a weak point in the market.
- Offer a single residuary body arrangement to Government, maximising the potential to manage receipts and commitments over the current Spending Period.
- Achieve localism by aligning these assets with the interests of local partners.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is leading the process for closure, working closely with DCLG, HM Treasury and the Government departments who fund projects and programmes currently being delivered by the RDAs. The HCA is playing a key advisory role in the process.
It is anticipated that the RDAs closure process will be completed by March 2012.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Our vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.