Carlisle Southern Link Road

Bid Co-ordinator/HIF Project Manager

Client : Carlisle City Council

Bid : £134m

Programme : Housing Infrastructure Fund (Forward Fund)

Hive were originally instructed as the bid was being formulated to ensure there was a consistent overarching project narrative to the individually drafted business cases. Hive’s role involved bringing out the key points of the bid, through editing the submission in such a way that it highlighted the strengths and read as a single cohesive document. This required an in-depth understanding of the project, along with working across the multi-disciplinary team to build a robust case that accords with the Government’s business case requirements. Awareness of the HIF programme objectives and the ability to closely align the business case with core programme criteria enabled Hive to present the bid in a compelling manner so that it was concise, consistent and above all accurate.

Following the announcement of the successful shortlisting of the project for a provisional £134m, Hive’s services were retained to negotiate the funding conditions on the City Council’s behalf and compile some of the key housing related evidence documents. These evidence documents were required to satisfy the conditions of the funding agreement with Homes England, known as the Grant Determination Agreement.  In negotiating the conditions Hive were able to ensure the timescales within which conditions are to be satisfied were reasonable and the wording of the conditions was reflective of the relative lack of control the council has over 3rd party land. Hive’s knowledge of the wider project programme and the numerous workstreams was invaluable in ensuring the funding agreement was not negotiated in isolation of the wider project and its key milestones. Throughout the negotiations Hive successfully pursued a pragmatic approach, whilst always protecting the interests of the Council and mitigating exposure to risk.

The principle housing evidence documents were the Outline Housing Delivery Statement (OHDS) and the Recovery Strategy, both of which were key programme requirements of Homes England. The OHDS was a comprehensive report detailing the various, planning, infrastructure, governance, stakeholder engagement, viability and other workstreams that formed the building blocks for the subsequent delivery of housing. In compiling the OHDS Homes England were provided with a single report through which they could understand the overarching project programme and the various constituent parts and were able to appreciate the scale of the task involved with getting houses built on site. The Recovery Strategy is the means through which the Council articulated how the money invested in the CSLR will be captured via developer contributions and used to further the delivery of housing in the Garden Village.

The Grant Determination Agreement is to be signed in May 2020 and will be one of the first nationally to be contracted under the Forward Fund section of the HIF programme. Hive’s role on this project was fundamental to securing the initial funding allocation, working collaboratively with the funding partner on the evidence base / due diligence and ensuring that all requirements were met to enable the signing of the GDA.  

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