Issue - decisions
Local Growth Funded Workspace Projects
The Executive Director (Development) had submitted a report to seek approval to enter into a £1.93m Funding Agreement with Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for Local Growth Funding to support the refurbishment of 1-3 George Street and redevelopment of Standingford House on Cave Street to provide affordable and innovative workspace to facilitate the inclusive economy.
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, introduced the report which proposed a timely initiative to support local businesses, particularly small local businesses. The project would provide a welcome addition to the mix of business and office space in the city centre, the need for which had been emphasised during the recent development of the Local Plan. It would also provide an opportunity for necessary improvements to the Council properties listed the report which would, among other things, contribute to the Council’s carbon reduction targets.
Andrew Humpherson, Regeneration Manager, emphasised that the proposed work was necessary to get the properties concerned into a state fit to be let and so contribute to income for the Council. The immediate focus was on the building shells and getting them up to standard. In relation to their future use, internal designs would be heavily influenced by close co-operation with operators, a dialogue which was already underway. He confirmed that early conversations with the planning department were underway in relation to 1-3 George Street, those with Cave Street would have to wait until later in the process.
It was noted that the funding for this project was required to have been committed by the end of July and not the end of June as described in the report.
Cabinet resolved to:
1. Delegate authority to the Executive Director Development, in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer and the Head of Law and Governance to agree and enter into grant funding arrangements and contractual terms with OxLEP for £1.93m in Local Growth Funds for the delivery of city-centre based workspaces at 1-3 George Street and Standingford House, Cave Street.