Bridging the Gap, announced at the annual RICS Local Government Conference, is a joint initiative between the ODPM and RICS, which gives property developers easy access to online information on the role of gap funding from the state (an incentive to developers to build in areas earmarked for regeneration) in such projects, and the criteria for qualification.
A website, http://www.bridgingthegap.uk.com, which will be live from 9 December, highlights the approvals the government has recently obtained from the European Union to aid regeneration and the ways in which funding can be secured.
The approvals for funding enable public sector money to be used to support developers in a range of regeneration projects. The website takes developers on a step-by-step guide through the process, which will enable them to check quickly if they qualify for aid under the current rules.
Lord Rooker, minister for regeneration, supported the launch, saying:
'The land and property regeneration approvals enable us to work more closely with the private sector in the regeneration of our most deprived communities. This leaflet, together with the website, will be very helpful to property developers and others who need more information about the approvals.'
RICS spokesman, Alan Powell, said:
'In the past many projects, which would not meet the criteria for funding were submitted, only to be rejected. This often delayed funding for more suitable projects.
'Using the website and leaflet, developers can now very quickly check to see if a project they are working on will meet the requirements for funding before applying. This will reduce the load on the system, prevent time being wasted, and greatly speed up the overall process, to the benefit of everyone.'
Gap funding is a grant used as an incentive to developers to build in areas earmarked as in need of regeneration investment by the European Union. The grant makes up the total cost of a development when a project lacks funding but is proven to be profitable in the long term. Typically a developer may apply for gap funding via the regional development agencies for 10% of the total cost of the project.
Alan Powell is chairman of the RICS local government policy panel.
RICS represents 100,000 members: chartered surveyors, technical surveyors
and students and probationers. They operate throughout the world in sixteen
residential property, commercial property, project management, construction,
building surveying, valuation, dispute resolution, plant and machinery,
rural, facilities management, environment, geomatics, antiques and fine
arts, planning and development, management consultancy, minerals and waste