Creating business cases for the Castleford Town Deal
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
Between summer 2021 and spring 2022, genecon was responsible for preparing seven business cases for Castleford’s Town Deal programme, which have all now been submitted to Government for final approval.
Castleford is a riverside market town in West Yorkshire with a long and rich heritage stretching back to Roman times. Part of the Wakefield metropolitan district, it was a prominent hub of commerce and industry up to the mid-late 20th century, when changes in the UK’s industrial landscape led to a decline in the town’s fortunes.
The Council and other local partners have big ambitions for Castleford’s revival and in October 2020, we were appointed to lead the drafting of the Castleford Town Investment Plan, which secured £24 million from the Government’s Towns Fund.
As a result of this successful work, we were appointed to bring our expertise to preparing seven individual business cases for Castleford’s Town Deal programme, covering a broad range of projects that would underpin the town’s ongoing regeneration. Developing robust business cases which demonstrated both the deliverability and economic impact of the projects was crucial to drawing town the multi-million-pound funding secured from Government.
The projects included flood defence improvements, new office spaces and new adult learning capacity, as well as shop improvement grants and a new indoor events space.
How we did it differently:
We worked closely with the teams developing these projects, providing the guidance and trusted advice required to take them from early concepts to fully-deliverable projects.
This included sharing our technical knowledge and experience in areas such as design, costing, programming and risk management.
The business cases were drafted by genecon in line with the HM Treasury’s Five Case Model, covering the strategic need for the projects, their potential for economic returns, the financial costs and the evidence for commercial demand, as well as how the projects would be managed, monitored and evaluated.
All seven business cases have been externally appraised and approved, and were submitted to Central Government in August 2022 to release the funding to the Council.
The first projects have now got underway, starting with a project to transform Sagar Street in the town into a creative business and skills quarter. This includes a shop front improvement scheme, with grants of up to £12,000 available for each business with a shop facing onto the street.
Other projects will include redeveloping Henry Moore Square as the “Heart of Castleford”, with a focus on community and event space to attract people to the high street, and the regeneration of the riverside as a vibrant destination with new public spaces, commercial attractions and paving the way for future housing and business growth.
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