The Garden Village at Handforth

Lead Author/HIF Project Manager

Client : Cheshire East Council

Funding : £21.7m

Programme : Housing Infrastructure Fund (Forward Fund)

Hive were contacted at the time Cheshire East Council were at the start of putting their HIF bid together. Aware of Hive’s extensive background with the programme, both whilst Stuart and Mark worked at Homes England and their subsequent work under Hive, the commission was to act as lead authors and project managers for the bid process.

The work involved in the bid process primarily fell into 3 categories. Firstly Hive drafted 3 of the 5 business cases, in addition to the Project Overview and Options Analysis sections of the bid. Secondly Hive acted as co-ordinators for the overall bid, ensuring the various constituent parts of the bid and the supporting documents provided a compelling narrative, aligned with the programme criteria and provided justification for investment. The third and final element of the instruction was that of Project Manager, acting as key interface with Homes England’s HIF team, co-ordinating the input of the technical consultant team and appraising the client of progress were all key elements of a successful bid process.

When the bid was earmarked for £21.7m of funding in April 2019, Hive’s commission was extended to support the Council through the HIF contracting process. Due to Hive’s knowledge of the project itself, the bid process and the commitments made through it, Hive were well placed to provide further support. Hive continued to act as project managers, but were also tasked with leading the condition negotiations and the drafting of the key evidence documents required through the contract, known as the Grant Determination Agreement (GDA).

The evidence to demonstrate that both the infrastructure was deliverable and that the houses would follow in a timely manner, was Hive’s responsibility. The three key documents required as the evidence base were the Outline Housing Delivery Statement (OHDS), the Recovery Strategy and the Infrastructure Delivery Statement (IDS). The IDS was a comprehensive report that demonstrated the Council had the expertise to deliver the infrastructure within the funding provided, were on top of the procurement and cost management and were able to forecast the funding requirements. This document articulated the type of works contained with the 4 infrastructure works packages to be procured with the HIF funding and detailed how these works packages would act as the catalyst for the release of housing land. This release of housing land and the subsequent recycling of funding from it would see the infrastructure works and the Garden Village site delivered in full.

Hive’s role on this project was pivotal to successfully securing HIF investment, which is critical to unlocking the site. TGV@H’s GDA is on course to contract in the summer of 2020. The project will be amongst the first of the December 2018 wave of HIF projects to be contracted.

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