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Minutes from secret Lichfield District Council meeting reveal 12 companies rejected opportunity to fund commercial element of Friarsgate

It has been revealed that 12 companies were approached to fund the commercial element of Friarsgate – but none were interested in stumping up the cash.

An artist's impression of the new Friarsgate development

An artist’s impression of the Friarsgate development

The doomed redevelopment scheme was rejected after councillors voted not to cough up £49million to allow the work to begin.

Lichfield District Council’s leader, Cllr Mike Wilcox, had previously claimed Brexit and the credit crunch had been to blame for the lack of private funding.

Minutes of a private meeting of councillors on June 26, when they formally ended any prospect of Friarsgate coming to fruition, reveal the scale of the lack of interest from potential funders after Railpen and the Staffordshire Pension Fund had opted not to back the project.

“Cllr Wilcox outlined the history of the scheme and noted the over time various changes had been agreed, including extending the unconditional end date to its final position of June 30 2018,” the minutes said.

“He said members would be well aware that many milestones had been reached by the developers to bring the scheme to the current point. Ongoing deliberations between U&I and Railpen had taken considerable time to resolve and as a result it had taken longer to approach the market.

“In total, 12 companies had been invited to fund the commercial element of the scheme, but unfortunately none came forward.”

Cllr Christopher Spruce, Cabinet member for finance, has previously claimed the decision by the private sector not to fund Friarsgate had been “a bombshell”.

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3 Comments

  1. Flossy

    12th July, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Clearly not all singing from same hymn sheet. The truth will come out eventually hopefully long before elections next year

  2. Philip Allso

    12th July, 2018 at 8:23 am

    There has probably been enough said now on the shortcomings of Wilcox and Spruce (and others). Clearly they are not fit for the job and have left the city in a very embarrassing situation. They should not be involved in any future plans for the Friarsgate site, and a carefully selected committee, who will not let the vultures and jackals carve up what is now left, be chosen by the public. The present council will be remembered with regret. As more insights come out about how they have performed we should all be learning how our indifference to local elections can come back to bite us.

  3. John Griffiin

    12th July, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Remember they have just voted to spend more (£113k) on Lichfield, which is 10 times what was spent on Burntwood in the last 3 years. Lichfield getting shafted, Burntwood treated as a joke. The Tories think they have such a stranglehold they can do what they like.

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