Chief Executive, Sheffield City Council and Chairman
SCR JESSICA Investment Board
At the end of June 2016, SCR JESSICA made the significant step of moving from a vehicle to invest EU funding to a fully sustainable investment fund to support key commercial property developments across the Sheffield City Region (“SCR”). Having been the last UK JESSICA to be established the Fund has fully invested its first round of funding despite uncertain times and has built a credible and respected position within the local investment market. This success has been acknowledged by all our partners and is now resulting in additional SCR funds being made available to support and encourage further development in our regional economy.
Through its recent investment activity, the Fund has become a major investment brand in the regional economy, recognised by the major developers for its market facing approach to funding. It is for this reason SCR JESSICA has been identified as a critical element in delivering the SCR Integrated Infrastructure Plan being launched in 2016.
Since the creation of the Fund we have continued to see our region significantly affected by the lack of development finance available for the high quality business and innovation space that it has become renowned for delivering. In light of BREXIT the lack of this finance may continue for some time longer. However, the development of this space is critical not only for the region, but the Northern Powerhouse and the country as a whole and SCR JESSICA will continue to address this.
The devolution agenda has raised opportunities for focussing our capabilities on the regional objectives that we have been working to deliver, and the SCR JESSICA Fund will grow to support these opportunities. In particular SCR JESSICA looks to work together with our wider Infrastructure Fund (SCRIF) which is supporting transformational investment across the SCR and will target investment in our key growth areas around the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, Doncaster-Sheffield Airport, our town and City centres and the SCR Enterprise Zones.
SCR JESSICA has already proven itself as the vital element in the delivery of many of our strategic priority schemes, enabling the delivery of modern workspace such as the redevelopment of the former NUM headquarters and completing the final scheme in the St Paul’s Place trilogy. Also of note is the place making that can be evidenced through the redevelopment of two historic mills at Kelham Island, and the ongoing support of the creation of space at the Advanced Manufacturing Park.
The priorities of the Fund, aligned with those of the City Region, are centred on economic growth and employment by providing modern and fit-for-purpose employment space to attract new employers and encourage existing ones to grow. SCR JESSICA has contributed to the delivery of over 500,000 sq. ft of employment space across eight schemes in the region since its launch in 2013, and has attracted additional funding to the region, doubling the capacity of the Fund.
I am delighted with the progress that the Fund has made to date but the work does not stop here. The Fund welcomes enquiries from developers with schemes that require funding and that can contribute to the growth of the economy. The Fund Managers look forward to hearing from you.