The Challenge

Centre For Cities named Exeter as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. The Greater Exeter region is set to deliver up to 50,000 houses over the next 20 years as part of its strategic plan, 12,000 of which are required within the city itself to promote regional growth and as part of the city’s urban densification plans. This will see approximately £10bn of private money and £2bn of public funds invested in the region.

Based on current trends, much of this new housing will be delivered by exploiting existing road infrastructure and, unless innovative solutions are found, will bring increased pressure on affordable housing, the transport network, employment and the environment. This can lead to planning blockages and hampered development, thus leaving land value trapped, infrastructure under-funded and, ultimately, the city’s growth potential unrealised.

Bridging the gap between sustainable, truly environmentally responsible infrastructure solutions and investible business models is a constant challenge for governments and the markets. The city recognises this challenge and has made an intervention now, with the implicit understanding that whoever controls funding ultimately controls outcomes.

Our Solution

Global City Futures has created an innovative and sustainable funding solution and is now working with Exeter’s stakeholders and Government to develop the business case that enables the city and its residents to have devolved control and ownership over city developments that focus on outcomes first.

To that end, we pitched for and won, on behalf of the city, £200k of Government funding to deliver a business case investment prospectus.

Predicated on the city’s ambitious Liveable Exeter programme, we are working on a 12,000 home placemaking project delivered by a standalone vehicle that:

  1. is public-sector owned across the city;
  2. is professionally run;
  3. is impact driven with Exeter place-making at its heart; and
  4. recycles all its profits back into the city’s future development projects.

This feeds into an over-arching plan to deliver 12,000 homes, sustainable transport and energy infrastructure needed for the city’s Liveable Exeter programme. This business case is for Government submission to help facilitate additional support and discussions with the infrastructure finance market.

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Since securing this funding, our team is now working alongside Homes England’s endeavour to support the city’s Liveable Exeter programme for 12,000 new homes within the city.

This project is being delivered through the collaborative governance structure provided by Exeter City Futures, which ensures the engagement of key city stakeholders, which are essential for scaling-up the project, following a successful pilot scheme.

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Diagram showing objectives and scope of the Exeter Development Fund project
Marsh Barton Exeter New Neighbourhoods, Liveable Exeter
Photograph from Civic Centre looking at construction site at Bus Station and Vue Cinema with Rainbow

The Result

We are working closely with Homes England. The agency has committed £750k capacity funding to the Liveable Exeter programme, to deliver a credible financing and delivery model to Government and the markets for:

  • 12,000 new dwellings within the city
  • Commercial rented space for 9000+ jobs
  • Potential for £3-4bn capital receipts value
  • Technology and innovation hub accommodation
  • New sustainable and carbon reduced transport infrastructure
  • Cycle network, walkways and alternatives to private cars
  • New public sector administration buildings space
  • New leisure facilities
  • Renewable and independent energy networks
  • Up to 18,000 new construction jobs
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A diagram that depicts the proposed structure of the Exeter Development Fund

Project Lead, Partners & Stakeholders

Global City Futures's Logo
The Cabinet Office's Logo
Homes England's Logo
One Public Estate's logo 2
Local Government Association's Logo
Devon County Council's Logo
Exeter City Council's Logo
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust's logo
The University of Exeter's logo
Exeter College's Logo
Exeter City Futures' Logo