STUNG by accusations of secrecy and document shredding, the board of wound down Hereford Futures (HF) has issued a final statement justifying the job the “arm’s length” company has done.
All of the company’s obligations within the joint venture agreement that set it up have been taken over by Herefordshire Council.
This week the company - long dogged by secrecy allegations over the way it operated - was at the centre of further allegations over document shredding ahead of the hand over.
The council said yesterday (Tues) that it was now confident all the necessary paperwork was in place.
All told, the council contributed nearly £3m to the running costs of HF set up to drive development in Hereford around the old market project.
The company says that it brought over £130m of capital investment to Hereford in return - a gearing of 45:1 – and created over 1,000 new jobs.
HF chairman, Ted Willmott, said that, as a result, Hereford had “a bright future”.
“Having secured key planning permissions for the urban village and inner city link road, we are confident that the right conditions have been created for continuing growth in the city – we urge our partners to maintain focus and momentum,” he said.
The council remains confident of success when the link road - and its related 130 compulsory purchase orders - goes to a public inquiry later this month.
If approved, construction of the road is set to start next year opening up land for the city’s proposed “urban village”.
The Leader of Herefordshire Council, Cllr Tony Johnson , paid tribute to the “private sector expertise” that delivered what HF had done.
The company's achievements were, he said, remarkable during a time of financial crisis and recession.