City council backs Lockleaze regeneration plan

April 19, 2012

Bristol City Council is to invest substantially in transforming Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze – the site of a former community centre – into a modern local centre for shopping, leisure and local travel.

A report to Cabinet on April 26 will recommend the council uses its own funding, sale of assets and prudential borrowing to back local residents in creating new homes, shops and employment opportunities around the square. 

Lockleaze is one of three Neighbourhood Planning Front Runner Pilots in Bristol – the others are Greater Bedminster and Redcliffe. These projects are among the first in the country to give local people direct powers to regenerate and improve their local neighbourhoods. 

Some £1m has already been earmarked for Gainsborough Square in the council’s capital programme 2012/13 with a further £800,000 in contributions from local developers. The council is also exploring the potential to borrow around £1.5m through prudential borrowing – a kind of fixed rate mortgage from the government. It is expected that land disposals could repay this loan and additional costs associated with the project by 2015.

In addition, funding will be sought from additional sources, including the West of England’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund, the Homes and Communities Agency and other regional funds.

The Lockleaze Voice Neighbourhood Development Forum is to produce a neighbourhood development plan, which will form part of the statutory development plan for the area. The council will underpin this plan with a business case for funding and borrowing to support the scheme.

Anthony Negus, the city council's executive member for housing, property and regeneration, said: “Local people have been working hard to develop a vision for Lockleaze and Gainsborough Square which reflects their ambitions for jobs, homes and businesses. The council will help make it happen.”

Martyn Chinn, chair of the new Lockleaze Voice Neighbourhood Development Forum front runner project said: “The next step is to work together towards a master plan for Gainsborough Square that is in line with the development choices of the local community in a Neighbourhood Plan as well as with the strategic programmes of the Council.”

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