Croydon Council have announced a joint venture proposal whereby the council will put between £30m and £60m of property assets into a specially created limited partnership, to be matched by funds from a private sector developer.
The private investor will take over the development of the joint venture, which will also take on bank debt to help regenerate Croydon town centre and, in theory, make profits for both the council and the private company. The ultimate value of the vehicle has been estimated at £450m.
Councillor Tim Pollard, a fan of the arena development, said:
"We have to make better use of our assets. The Government White Paper has been encouraging councils to look to their assets and make sure they are sweating them. In this kind of deal it makes a lot of sense for us to put in our assets and the private sector to put in the equity."
I am most certainly in favour of the council making the most of its, sorry, our assets. However, given the lamentable shortcomings demonstrated so far with regard to the "regeneration" of Croydon (eg the arena) are the council actually capable of making a success of this?