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(UK) Building a Future For Britain's Waterways (19 July 2002)

30 July 2002


New property public private partnership aims to lead the way in waterside regeneration

British Waterways has today (Thursday 18th July 2002) announced the establishment of a major new property public private partnership with AMEC and Igloo Regeneration Fund. The new joint venture, named ISIS Waterside Regeneration, will combine private sector expertise and finance, with public sector ethos and assets to unlock the potential of canal and riverside land across the UK.

The first step by ISIS has been the appointment of a chief executive. Mark Ryder, formerly a director of London & Amsterdam Developments (part of ING Real Estate) has nearly 10 years of experience in the property industry. Mark is dual qualified as a solicitor and member of the Royal Town Planning Institute having previously worked for Berwin Leighton as a planning solicitor. Mark will take up his new position with effect from 12th August 2002.

“We have a real opportunity to create something unique here,” says Mark. “ISIS Waterside Regeneration is a true partnership between British Waterways, AMEC and Igloo and I have been impressed by the strength of their shared vision. We have been tasked with turning ISIS into the UK’s leading regenerator of waterside land within the next 10 years. With the team and assets at our disposal, I am confident that we will succeed.”

British Waterways has already had considerable success in the regeneration of its urban and rural waterways, and has formed site-specific joint ventures to unlock the value of its land. ISIS will build on the successes of these ventures, however, unlike them it will take a nationwide, multi-site approach, focusing on major waterside developments across the UK. Initially, ISIS has options on ten British Waterways sites and these will be supplemented by more British Waterways and third party land as opportunities arise. Further details will be announced in the Autumn.

“This is not a traditional development vehicle,” says Robin Evans, British Waterways’ commercial director. “ISIS projects will place a strong emphasis on sustainable regeneration, focusing on high quality architecture which enhances its waterway setting, and delivers environmental and social benefits for local communities and visitors to the waterways. We are confident that between British Waterways, AMEC and Igloo, we have a winning team which will generate significant funds for reinvestment in the waterways.”

Nigel Franklin, AMEC director responsible for the new venture, says; "During the 6 months it has taken us to move from preferred bidder to contractual close we have developed a close working relationship between the British Waterways, Igloo and AMEC teams. It is already apparent that there is tremendous synergy between the respective organisations and I am confident that we have all the ingredients for a highly successful and rewarding partnership for all involved."

Chris Brown, Director of Igloo Regeneration Fund, adds; “This partnership allows us to extend our socially responsible investment approach across some of the best waterside regeneration projects in the country.”

Notes to editors:

British Waterways is the public corporation, responsible to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, which cares for the UK’s 2,000-mile network of canals and rivers. It holds a property portfolio valued at £400million and works in a variety of joint ventures to unlock the potential of its assets. By balancing the conservation of waterway heritage and environment with developing commercial opportunities, British Waterways generates new income to reinvest in the waterways for further sustainable regeneration

AMEC is a leading international provider of services and engineering solutions to the world’s infrastructure, manufacturing and process industries. The company creates value for clients through the application of its knowledge, innovative alliances, partnerships and technologies. AMEC owns 46% of SPIE S.A., the international electrical engineering, infrastructure and construction services company based in France, and has an option to buy the balance of SPIE in 2002. Together, AMEC and SPIE employ 50,000 people in more than 40 countries and have annualised revenue of approximately US$7billion.

The Igloo Regeneration Fund is a £200million limited partnership fund with all the initial equity provided by Morley Fund Management on behalf of a number of in-house managed life and pension funds. Igloo invests in the development of mixed-use, environmentally sustainable, well-designed, urban renaissance projects on the edge of the top twenty city centres in the UK.

Invitations to express interest in the property public private partnership (or P4) scheme were advertised in the Official Journal of the European Community (OJEC) in March 2001. The AMEC/Igloo partnership was selected from an original list of 24 interested bidders. ISIS Waterside Regeneration has been established with the support of Partnerships UK and the professional advice of King Sturge, NM Rothschild & Sons, Addleshaw Booth & Co and Ashurst Morris Crisp.

The Government’s Waterways for Tomorrow paper (June 2000) – the first charter for the inland waterways for 30 years – recognised the potential of the inland waterways for delivering widespread social, economic and environmental improvements, and endorsed British Waterways’ partnership approach to ‘unlocking the potential’ of the inland waterways

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