The tangled web that is the `regeneration' of Higher Broughton got another spin yesterday as the Sigma Capital Group announced its takeover of Inpartnership, the company run by Duncan Sutherland and Graeme Hogg, that was supposed to sort public sector regenerations schemes.
Inpartnership had an operating loss of £74,000 at the end of March and the company, which was involved with three big projects worth £millions across the UK, was sold for just £347,000.
Back in March, Salford Star called for a Public Inquiry into the whole regeneration of Higher Broughton which has so far swallowed £38,548,879 of public money with very little to see – click here for further details.
On its last set of public accounts the Higher Broughton Partnership - made up of Salford City Council, Inpartnership and the Royal Bank of Scotland – had liabilities of £5.681million, and owed its creditors £12.375million, including a bank loan of £10.75million from the RBS. Meanwhile, the whole Higher Broughton Partnership has been restructured and a new company formed "to safeguard against potential future claims".
The Broughton Green scheme, consisting of huge expensive houses and flats, continues to be propped up with public money. For instance, orthodox Jewish housing association, Agudas Israel, took over dozens of properties that didn't sell in the `award winning' complex, including 12 houses for social rent, backed by a whopping Government grant of £2.2million, or £183,000 per house. Recently, Salford Council failed in its bid to the Government for Regional Growth Fund money for the scheme to `regain momentum' on the project.
Inpartnership's role in the Higher Broughton Partnership is to manage the development work in the area, and get paid a management fee plus a slice of any profits.
Yesterday, its new owners Sigma Capital stated that the Partnership "is currently in the final negotiations for the delivery of a new health centre and approximately 6,700 sq.ft. of local retail units…80 new homes and the development of the final main street frontage site previously housing a high rise apartment block."
We asked Sigma how much it will invest in the scheme and an accurate timescale for when work will begin. We didn't get an answer, just a further quote from Inpartnership's Duncan Sutherland…
"This is very good news for Inpartnership and particularly the company's partners" he said "It brings substantial added resource and expertise to the delivery of Inpartnership's projects within each of the partnerships. It also gives the company the ability to bring new and innovative forms of investment into our public sector partnerships at a time when public spending and resources are extremely scarce.
"It will be business as usual for the company, with the increased vigour and resource brought to us by Sigma" he added "and we look forward to working with our existing partners and new partners to build on our record of partnership and achievement."
We're sure that Higher Broughton residents will draw their own conclusions…