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Nuneaton council revealed to have spent £6,000 a month on failed regeneration bid

A freedom of information request obtained by Green Party campaigner Michele Kondakor has revealed that Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council paid £6,000 a month over six years to regeneration specialists SJI Group Limited to promote regeneration of the town centre.

But after failing to attract a developer they’ve abandoned the plan, at a cost of over £50,000 to the taxpayer.

According to the Coventry Telegraph, SJI Group was wound up by the courts in December 2016 and was almost struck off the register in October of 2017 with Ms Kondakor saying at a town hall meeting that she believed the company was only trading due to the monthly payments from the council.

The former leader of Nuneaton council Cllr Harvey had previously blamed the Conservative’s budget proposal, which proposed an investment of up to £30m into the regeneration of the area. He said this had put current negotiations at the site at risk.

At a town hall meeting earlier this year he said: ‘Recent announcements by the opposition who announced they are going to spend millions of pounds, which we do not have, could seriously jeopardise plans which are close to fruition as some commercial interest may now assume that money is no object,’

In a statement, Ian Powell, director of regeneration and public protection at the council said: ‘The council required some external expert assistance in developing its proposals to regenerate the Abbey Street area of Nuneaton town centre.

‘SJI were appointed through the council’s commissioning procedures to undertake that work and have been paid for that work. If the council requires further expert assistance on the Abbey Street regeneration project or any other regeneration project in the future, it will make an appropriate appointment through its commissioning procedures to the supplier that offers the best value for money at the time.

‘It is not possible to say whether SJI or any other individual supplier will bid for future work or which potential supplier will be successful in securing future work.’

 

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