The Smart Place Strategy adopted by the Council in 2022 sets out how the Smart Place programme aims to generate significant local value by helping to address some of the key challenges across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area, helping to secure major social and economic benefits. The programme supports the delivery of a number of priorities within the Council’s Corporate Strategy, is strongly aligned to government’s Levelling Up agenda and is a key foundation for the Council’s Big Plan ambitions.
Funding of the Smart Place programme is a key challenge as at present there is no statutory responsibility nor associated financial support to enable the full development of Smart Places within the UK. The Smart Place strategy and the supporting Smart Place Investment Plan therefore set out a unique, financially self-sustaining business model aimed at securing major private investment to deliver the Smart Place programme across the whole of the BCP area.
Following the production of the Smart Place Investment Plan two years ago, the Smart Place team has had a series of detailed conversations with potential major investors, and in recent months it is has become clear investors are now ready and prepared to make a substantial investment into the programme. In the light of this opportunity for major private investment the time is right to seek to secure one or more suitable strategic investment partner(s) and to create a formal ‘special purpose vehicle’ (SPV) through which investment can be received and the programme funded and delivered.
RESOLVED that: -
(a) the Smart Place Team, supported by Law and Governance, Finance and Strategic Procurement, conducts a formal procurement process to select one or more Smart Place Strategic Investment Partner(s); and
(b) the Smart Place Team, supported by Law and Governance, Finance and Strategic Procurement, determines the most appropriate special purpose vehicle, through which investment can be received and that the Smart Place Programme is funded and delivered; and
(c) Officers report back to Cabinet after this process is completed, for a decision to appoint the Smart Place Investment Partner(s) and to proceed with establishing the most appropriate special purpose vehicle.
Portfolio Holder: The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Development, Growth, Regeneration and Transformation
i. Delivers significant economic and social benefit for residents, businesses, and communities.
ii. Supports the Council’s Corporate Strategy priorities and Big Plan and regeneration ambitions.
iii. Delivers cost savings and potential future income generation for the Council.
iv. Supports government’s Levelling Up agenda and UK Digital Strategy.
v. Enables the raising of major private investment to fund the delivery and roll out of the Smart Place programme across the whole of the BCP area.