The Greater Cambridge Partnetship (GCP) is proposing to forward fund some £50 million to get their proposals off the ground. The salesman’s brochure says so in the GCP’s foreword on page 5.

The City Deal is already in place to forward-fund the scheme, the GCP says. The City Deal is a Government initiative that provides grants to various areas in the country. The Government don’t want it back. In total, the GCP is getting £500 million in grants. So perhaps you think this forward funding is the GCP putting their hands in their pockets to kickstart the project?

The GCP forward funding isn’t a grant. It is a loan. They want their money back. After all, why spend the grant money when the GCP can get you, the people, to pay?

This can be seen in the cash flow numbers in the GCP Strategic Outline Case (SOC).

The net negative cash flow represents the approximately £50m extra expenditure that is required to cover forward funding of upfront bus service improvements and fares reductions. This additional upfront funding is recovered via charging scheme net revenues by 2029, allowing the funding to be used for wider GCP City Deal commitments.

GCP SOC item 3.8.2

When Peter Blake from the GCP was asked this, 17:31 into the GCP West Area Community Forum 07-11-2022 recording, it’s on YouTube. He didn’t answer the question.

Yes, it is, as in the GCP SOC document. The STZ is repaying the GCP money they were given to do this.

A non- recoverable £50m will be invested in the programme of improvements upfront by GCP, with a further £50m “borrowed” from the City Deal Fund, which will be recovered via the charging scheme by 2029. By 2027, the charging scheme will be generating a revenue stream of over £70m a year to invest in bus and sustainable transport improvements, the economy and the people of Grater Cambridge.

GCP SOC Document

On the plus side, the GCP is not going to charge you interest, which is nice.