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Economic Assets Programme

In September 2011, the HCA launched its newest delivery programme, the Economic Assets Programme (EAP), following the successful transfer of a significant portfolio of land, property and other assets from the Regional Development Agencies, which were wound down at the end of March 2012.

Whilst owning and managing the assets at national level, the HCA role is, in its capacity as enabler, to ensure that the best outcomes and benefits are secured for local communities by local partners – whether jobs, homes or businesses. We are achieving this by establishing, and working with, Local Stewardship Partnerships, comprised of local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), local businesses and other local partners.

We are in the process of developing with local partners a clear business plan for each group of assets, setting out what we will achieve, how and by when.

This signals an enhanced role for the HCA in boosting economic growth and development, and will make a major contribution to the localism agenda.

The transfer process took place in two stages:

Stage 1 - A number of RDA coalfield land and property assets - 52 assets across 43 sites - transferred to the HCA on 1 August 2011. These are not part of a stewardship arrangement but form part of our non EAP other Land and Regeneration work.

Stage 2 - A portfolio of 300 land and property assets with a book value of around £300m transferred to the HCA on 19 September 2011. In addition, a number of joint venture companies transferred to the Agency.

Download a list of the land and property, and joint venture assets transferred to the HCA from each of the former RDAs:


The overall objectives of the EAP are to:

  • support local economic growth and regeneration for local communities.
  • align the assets with local economic ambitions and thereby to create more effective local economic development strategies – including jobs, enterprise, skills and technology development
  • provide a more comprehensive development offer to local communities alongside the HCA’s existing housing, land and regeneration programmes
  • recycle values from projects so to that they are able to maximise the development potential of all the assets
  • support the Government’s growth and employment policies by boosting local capacity.


The advantages of the HCA approach

The HCA’s stewardship approach opens up new and improved opportunities for using the former RDA assets to deliver economic benefits to local communities. This is because the HCA is uniquely well placed to combine:


Responding to local needs and opportunities

Local Investment Plans drive everything the HCA does. Developed by local authorities with HCA support, these establish the economic vision for a local area and set out priorities to deliver it. The HCA will ensure that the former RDA assets play an important role in delivering these locally agreed priorities.

The Government has created new ways for local areas to drive growth. It has encouraged Local Enterprise Partnerships, and announced 21 Enterprise Zones. The HCA is helping to implement these policies, and will use the opportunities they create to maximise the potential of the assets.


Linking up funding streams

At a time of reduced resources it is more important than ever to co-ordinate all available funding. The HCA is responsible for major funding streams for affordable housing, regeneration and developing public land. The HCA can combine these other funding streams with the opportunities created by the former RDA assets to deliver better outcomes overall. 


Promoting innovation

The HCA will encourage innovation to realise greater value from the assets. By involving local partners through the stewardship model, we will encourage them to propose new approaches that use resources more effectively, for example by combining their own land with former RDA land to create greater economic benefits.


Applying expertise

The HCA has a wide range of expertise and tools that we will apply to the former RDA assets. These include our experience in developing public/private partnerships, managing large portfolios of land and property, and ways of speeding up the process of choosing developers for sites.


Local examples of how the EAP will add value and boost economic growth around the country will follow on our Topics page shortly.

 

Further information:

» Read the HCA welcome statement on completion of the asset transfer process - 19 September 2011

» Read the HCA welcome statement to the RDA asset transfer - 6 July 2011

» Read the Written Ministerial Statement agreeing to the RDA asset transfer to the HCA - 6 July 2011

» Read the joint BIS and DCLG press release - 6 July 2011

» Further details about the RDAs can be found at www.englandsrdas.com

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