Public sector bodies are lobbying the government for a slice of regional development agencies’ (RDAs) property, once they are abolished.
On 8 July, it emerged that Communities and Local Government had set a deadline of April 2012 for the disposal of government offices and assets in the regions owned by RDAs.
Local authorities have now identified the property they want. Bradford Metropolitan District Council is lobbying the Treasury and Communities and Local Government to take over seven city assets owned by its RDA, Yorkshire Forward.
It wants local control over the sites, which include the stalled £55m redevelopment of a former Odeon cinema, which was previously led by the now wound-up Bradford Urban Regeneration Company. The council also wants to take over a police station that is key to its £24.4m City Park scheme.
Chief executive Tony Reeves told Property Week: “We don’t want sites to be auctioned off by Yorkshire Forward without our control.
We need these as part of the ongoing regeneration of the city.”
This could mark the beginning of a period of wrangling between public bodies to take control of regeneration in their area. Leeds began last month, when it announced its intention to create a local enterprise partnership for the Leeds City region, which encompasses Barnsley, York and Bradford.
For Bradford, having ownership of the RDA’s sites would give it more leverage with the private sector. It wants to replicate the success of its £6m loan to Provident Financial, which persuaded the company to stay in Bradford to build a new headquarters.