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Kent Medical Campus Innovation Centre - business case

Meeting: 24/10/2018 - Policy and Resources Committee (Item 88)

88 Kent Medical Campus Innovation Centre - Business Case

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms Abi Lewis, Economic Development Officer, and Ms Dawn Hudd, Head of Regeneration and Economic Development, presented the Business Case for building an Innovation Centre at the Kent Medical Campus for the Committee’s approval.

 

Ms Lewis conveyed to the Committee that the objective of the proposed Innovation Centre was to support the creation and development of innovative businesses with high growth potential in the life science, healthcare and medical technology sectors, acting as a stimulus for development on the wider Kent Medical Campus site as well as delivering a new source of growth and jobs which will strengthen the competitiveness of the Maidstone economy. In order to achieve this objective, a business case had been drawn together for a 37,000 square foot Innovation Centre designed to accommodate these businesses. The business case included a deal to lease the land from the landowner of the Medical Campus, architect’s designs for the facility along with a breakdown of projected costs and income.

 

It was noted that a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) bid had been made to assist with financing the scheme to ensure it was viable, and projections showed an internal rate of return of the remaining funding that the Council would be providing. Ms Lewis confirmed that the investment appraisal covered 17 years. Payback of the capital cost would be through retention of business rates at the Enterprise Zone being ringfenced to fund the project, selling services to the businesses located in the centre and rental fees for the offices.

 

In response to a question from the Committee, Ms Lewis confirmed that an agreement had been reached with the landowner of the Kent Medical Campus to acquire the land required to build the medical centre.

 

Ms Hudd reported to the Committee that it would be updated on a regular basis on the progress of the project; with decisions around accepting tenders for building and operating the site being key future decisions the Committee will need to make. The Committee would also be made aware of the outcome of the ERDF bid in January once the outcome had been announced.

 

The Committee raised concerns about the effect of the UK leaving the European Union, and the impact this would have on the ERDF bid. Ms Hudd assured the Committee that the Government had provided guarantees that any funding commitments made under the ERDF process would be honoured by the government.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  That an indicative total scheme cost for the development of the Innovation Centre is approved.

2.  That the likely financial returns of the Innovation Centre scheme are noted.

3.  That delegated authority is granted to the Director of Finance and Business Improvement to borrow to fund the scheme, following the granting of planning permission and confirmation of ERDF grant award.

4.  That delegated authority is granted to the Head of Regeneration and Economic Development to submit a planning application and deal with associated planning matters on behalf of the Council as landowner.

5.  That delegated authority is granted to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88