Essex Renewal Fund

We launched the Essex Renewal Fund (ERF) in April 2022 to support our commitment to good jobs, future growth and investment, green growth and levelling up the economy.

Over the next 20 years, the fund aims to invest over £100m, supporting 1,500 jobs and bringing to market enough land to deliver 1,000 new homes.

We'll achieve this by acting in ways that the private sector can't.

Types of projects

We'll consider land and property projects that align with our Levelling Up Essex Strategy, which:

  • benefit Essex residents and businesses
  • involve refurbishment, development or bringing development land to market
  • lie within the administrative area of Essex County Council (excluding Southend and Thurrock)
  • focus on attracting and retaining investment and talent in and around Tendring, Basildon and Colchester housing estates, Harlow, Rural Braintree and Canvey Island

We'll prioritise projects based on their alignment with the following policy objectives:

  • create and safeguard jobs
  • attact and retain invesment and talent in important locations
  • support start-ups and high potential firms
  • contribute to green growth and climate resilience
  • keep momentum with, and speed up, major housing and economic growth projects
  • encourage shift to sustainable modes of transport
  • provide opportunities for reskilling and upskilling
  • facilitate higher productivity economic activity
  • contribute to a Net Zero carbon future

The fund will seek opportunities to support Essex town centres and high streets and our new Garden Communities. It will also nurture the five key growth sectors for Essex identified in the Essex Sector Development Strategy, which are:

  • construction (including retrofit)
  • clean energy
  • advanced manufacturing and engineering
  • digi-tech
  • life sciences (including med-tech and care-tech)

Other investment considerations include compliance with Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) borrowing guidance, achieving financial hurdle rates, and ensuring value for money for taxpayers.

How much funding is available?

To manage our risk, we'll limit investment to £12.5m per project (including any grant funding for which we are accountable).

For larger projects, we'll need to share risk and reward with external partners, either through a ‘Master Developer’ model or development partnerships.

To manage impacts on our revenue budget, total activity is anticipated to remain under £27.5m at any one time. However, we aim to invest at least £100m over the next 20 years by reinvesting any income from the fund.

Contact us

If you have a site, project or funding opportunity that you would like to discuss with the Essex Renewal Fund team, please email Ricky Thakrar at ricky.thakrar@essex.gov.uk.

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