The Investing in Growth Fund has been used on a number of projects and initiatives across the council since being set up in 2018. It has covered loans to support development, green initiatives, and investment in property which promotes growth and wider economic development.
Examples of some of the property investments include:
Provincial House in Haverhill – In 2019 the council invested just under £3.7m to acquire a mixed use commercial office block with five retail units. This opportunity allowed the council to protect jobs with a major employer in the town; provided an addition to the council's commercial asset portfolio to generate revenue income to support council services; and provided a future strategic opportunity linked to the delivery of the Haverhill Masterplan.
Temporary accommodation – Between 2018 and 2020 the council used the Investing in Growth Fund to acquire properties in Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket.
These investments aimed to reduce the need to use emergency bed and breakfast accommodation and meet the increasing demand for temporary accommodation in those towns. It also ensured that the council does not place out-of-area, which is a key Government measure and helps families maintain local support networks. Collectively this helps achieve the council’s priority to support resilient families and communities.
Elseys Yard, Bury St Edmunds – In early 2020, the council completed on the acquisition of a well located, mixed use development from Notting Hill Housing. This comprises of five social housing units, two of which were adapted for disabled use, plus attractively converted commercial office accommodation. This investment achieved a number of objectives, including helping secure the provision of social housing and providing longer term strategic benefits to support place shaping. Through the letting of the commercial space, an income of over £35,000 per annum is provided to help support the delivery of services.