Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development Minutes

Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development Minutes

Tuesday 20 August 2013
10:00 a.m.
Oberhausen Room,Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Councillor C M Rooney
Liz Small and Sharron Brown
Item Number Item/Resolution

The Executive Director for Neighbourhoods and Communities submitted a report that gave an update on progress in securing funding for a new business facility in the Boho Zone, known as Boho Five. The report also outlined the next steps required to progress the project and commence procurement.


In recent years, the area of Middlesbrough known as the Boho Zone had developed into a significant business hub, based around the digital sector and the economic activity generated through the DigitalCity initiative.


Since 2007, the area had seen significant public and private sector investment that delivered key elements of the vision, including:

  • Boho One - 3,200 sq m of new build provided workspace for digital media companies;
  • Boho Two (Platform Arts) - 300 sq m of refurbished Victorian buildings in the Middlesbrough Rail Station precinct housing artists’ business units;
  • Boho Three (Bohouse) - 3,300 sq m of new build live-work accommodation designed specifically for digital and creative professionals;
  • Boho Four (Gibson House) - 1,000 sq m of refurbished Victorian building that provided space for growing digital and creative companies; and,
  • Boho Six (Crown House) - 2,787 sq m of refurbished space that provided accommodation for non-digital businesses.

This investment in the Boho Zone had contributed significantly to the physical regeneration of the area, which now formed a key routeway linking the town centre to Middlehaven.


The report outlined in detail further information on:

  • Success;
  • Boho Five;
  • Benefits;
  • Progress; and
  • Changes to the project.

The report outlined in detail that there were two options available:

  1. Option 1 - Accept the lease and funding agreements to enable procurement to commence. (preferred option)
  2. Option 2 - Reject the lease and funding agreements and cease the project.

The next stage, if approval to proceed was received, and the lease and two funding agreements were formally accepted, the procurement could commence, a contractor identified to design and build the facility. Construction was expected to commence in December 2013 and be completed by September 2014.


The procurement exercise to identify an operator was scheduled to take place in February 2014. A further report would be brought forward for consideration confirming operational arrangements following the exercise.


During the meeting is was noted that the wording of paragraph 35 had been amended as follows:  'The external funding secured for construction will be managed within Economic Development, as will the financial relationship with the operator of the building.  The team will also ensure that necessary links are in place with the wider DigitalCity project'.


It was noted at the meeting that following a meeting of the Chief Executive's Managment Team (CEMT) the wording of recommendation 2 had been amended, as per below.



  1. That the acceptance of the ERDF and HCA funding agreements to take the project forward be endorsed; and
  2. To enter into a lease agreement based on the agreed Heads of Terms, be agreed; and,
  3. That the need to procure an operator for the building to comply with State Aid regulations be noted.



The decisions were supported by the following reason:


The benefits of securing such a facility in Middlesbrough are significant. The continued growth of the digital sector would enable Middlesbrough to attract further high value jobs and secure the catalytic benefits of the physical regeneration of the Boho Zone. The flow of new start businesses would also add significant value to the existing stock of business accommodation in the area.

The decisions will come into force after five working days following the day the decisions were published unless the decision becomes subject to the call in procedures.
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