Partners leave joint venture

Plans to set up a public-private joint venture company to carry out regeneration projects in Torbay in south Devon have been hit by the withdrawal of the preferred private sector partners.

In March, Torbay Council named construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine and property company Deeley Freed as preferred bidders for its planned local asset-backed vehicle (LABV).

Under the plans, the council was to commit assets to the vehicle, which were to be matched with assets or cash from the private sector partner.

But the Torbay Development Agency said last week that Sir Robert McAlpine and Deeley Freed have withdrawn from the project "for a combination of reasons, including changing priorities within the business and the increasing weaknesses and uncertainties in the global and European economy".

Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver said that the agency, which will be the council's main point of contact with the joint venture partner, would seek to appoint a new private sector partner for the LABV.

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