Cheshire West and Chester Council has a significant portfolio of agricultural and other holdings from which it derives revenues in the form of rents and other income. Seven sites with a total area of up to 260 hectares have been identified as potentially available for disposal, subject to formal approval being secured.
The Mersey Forest Team has identified that the land is suitable for woodland creation and would qualify for enabling funding from the Defra Trees for Climate Programme: Trees for Climate — England's Community Forests (englandscommunityforests.org.uk). There is therefore potential on these sites for investors to develop a strategic carbon sequestration project and attract investment funding from the developing Biodiversity Net Gain market and potentially other finance, to fund the creation of a variety of habitats on the land.
The Council would like to explore whether this opportunity can contribute in meeting climate change and wider environmental objectives, including provision of BNG and access to public open space and Mersey Forest’s Trees for Climate objectives, whilst delivering a capital receipt commensurate with the value of the land.
The Council will consider a disposal of the land through a model that recognises and blends well-established grant funding with private funding to deliver these social, financial and environmental outcomes. This could involve the sale or lease of the land.
The Council is inviting your organisation to participate in the Soft Market Test by responding to the attached questionnaire and return by 6th January 2023 to: email@example.com
To participate in any resulting tender, you would be required to register on The Chest platform, though this is not a pre-requisite for engagement at this stage.
Please see link below on how to register on the Chest:
The Chest: North West Procurement Portal (the-chest.org.uk)
If you need further help on how to register, please contact:
An Open Day will be hosted by the Council on 31st January 2023 to discuss the options with interested parties and answer any questions. Furthermore, there may be one to one sessions and site visits with parties at their request.