CIVIC chiefs plan to loan the council's own urban regeneration company £8million to fund its initial activity.

Details of the "working capital loan" for BCP FuturePlaces Ltd are included in BCP Council administration's budget plans for 2022/23.

Council leader Cllr Drew Mellor said the £8million will be paid back by FuturePlaces as they bring projects forward.

The report on the budget proposals said it had been decided that the mechanism of the council-owned company should change following a review of similar practice elsewhere in the county.

FuturePlaces will be paid by the council based on the successful outcomes of the development advice it gives.

"This new approach from April 1, 2022, means BCP FuturePlaces require a working capital loan from the council in the first instance to cashflow their activity prior to presenting a revised business plan and individual business cases to cabinet, and potentially Council, for approval," the report says.

"The working capital loan facility will allow funds to be borrowed up to a maximum of £8million.

"Upon successful approval of these business cases by the council, BCP FuturePlaces will be entitled to invoice the council for their professional development advice and consequently receive payment.

"This inflow of income will enable BCP FuturePlaces to repay its debt if appropriate. Where the council is purchasing professional advice directly linked to a specific asset it will be able to capitalise the cost."

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Drew MellorCllr Drew Mellor

The report says the council will be required to regularly review the performance of BCP FuturePlaces to determine if there is any need for a provision for a potential loss. At present, no such provision has been made.

Last September, cabinet members signed off on a separate £3.4million additional investment to support FuturePlaces projects.

Cllr Mellor said the work FuturePlaces will bring forward would deliver value for the council.

Deputy leader, Cllr Philip Broadhead, said: "We are trying to give some financial sustainability to FuturePlaces as our kind of regen-wing to rather than just endlessly spend council taxpayers money, with this new mechanism it puts a real impetus on them creating the value of what they are adding to the table."

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Philip BroadheadCllr Philip Broadhead

He added: "The great thing about the long term future of FuturePlaces is we are now going to be operating at a level of experience, capacity and resource that we have never been able to do before and long term it will pay for itself and some more."

Meanwhile, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to BCP FuturePlaces revealed the annual remuneration of its managing director, Gail Mayhew, is £150,000, with chief operating officer and investment director Craig Beevers and corporate engagement director James Croker, on £145,000 and £100,000, respectively.

A copy of the company's first board meeting minutes was also released through the FOI disclosure. The local authority confirmed approved FuturePlaces board minutes would be published online for the public to access.