Client: Walsall Council

AMION was commissioned to prepare a Business Case for the redevelopment of the Phoenix 10 site in Walsall, on behlaf of Walsall Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Phoenix 10 is the key site in the Darlaston part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone and its redevelopment has the potential to create a significant number of jobs.  The Phoenix 10 project involves the reclamation of the former IMI Copper Works site (currently owned by the Homes and Communities Agency) and adjacent Council-owned land and its subsequent redevelopment for employment purposes.  The project aims to bring vacant land back into use, generate inward investment and create jobs.

The main purpose of the Business Case was to provide a justification for the likely financial model for any Council contribution to meeting project costs, which would include prudential borrowing supported by anticipated business rates uplift across the Enterprise Zone, possible grant support, and the reinvestment of capital receipts from the disposal of the site.

Our approach to preparing the Business Case was fully consistent with HM Treasury ‘Green Book’ guidance and comprised the following elements:

  • Strategic case – this set out the policy, socio-economic and market context to the project and made the case for intervention;
  • Project review – this provided an overview of the proposed project, including objectives, stakeholder requirements, delivery options and constraints;
  • Economic case – this considering the alternative options for achieving the desired objectives and assessed the expected benefits of each short-listed option and their relative value for money.  This involved an initial, brief review of a long-list of options for the project and the identification of a short-list to be taken forward for more detailed assessment.  Where possible, the benefits were monetised and the Net Present Value calculated using the Social Time Preference Rate.  The wider impacts were assessed using a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) approach, based on CLG guidance;
  • Commercial case – this identified the proposed contractual arrangements, as well as the key risks in terms of deliverability based upon a risk assessment which identified mitigation measures;
  • Financial case – this set out the costs associated with the project and funding arrangements; and
  • Management case – this considered the implementation and management arrangements and monitoring and evaluation requirements.  The focus was on Walsall Council’s proposed management arrangements and milestones.

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