Warwickshire Recovery & Investment Fund (WRIF)

The Assignment

Business Case, Operating Business Plan and Model & Procurement of External Fund Managers.

In the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Warwickshire County Council were seeking to review its options to understand the difference it could make and how best to support the economic recovery of the county from COVID-19. The Council wanted to use its financial strength to set up a Fund that could provide finance to support Warwickshire based businesses and the jobs of its residents.

To secure support and approval to establish the Fund the Council required a Business Case and Operational Business Plan to be prepared and taken through the Council’s internal decision-making process. We also supported the council in the procurement of a Fund Manager and Fund Advisor to manage different elements of the Fund.

The Role

As part of this role, we have:

  • Undertaken a series of officer workshops to develop, ‘check and challenge’ options and proposals for the Fund
  • Supported the council in determining the objectives and principles for operating the Fund.
  • Completed two separate market engagement exercises to determine demand and an understanding of the existing market landscape and then to refine the proposals for the Fund
  • Completed an options appraisal and evaluation of the different options available to the Council for meeting their objectives
  • Worked with the Council’s legal advisors to determine that the Council had the necessary ‘powers’ to establish the Fund and highlight the other commercial considerations that should form part of the operation of the Fund
  • Developed a Financial Model, with sensitivity analysis, to demonstrate the affordability of the fund.
  • Prepared a HM Treasury 5 Case model Business Case capturing the options appraisal process, financial model and setting out details for management of the fund.
  • Prepared an operational Business Plan, including detailed governance, management and staffing arrangements together with Operational Processes for operating the Fund
  • Developed a Toolkit of proforma documents to support the investment decision-making process for operating the Fund.
  • Led on the process to procure and appoint a Fund Advisor and Fund Manager to manage different elements of the Fund.

Key Outcomes

Our work has supported the Council securing approvals to establish the Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund. The Business Plan and toolkit has provided the County Council with an agreed approach to operate the fund and a set of proforma documents to use and guide them through the investment decision making process. Our work leading the procurement of external Fund Advisor and Fund Manager has also equipped the council with the resource it needs to manage and monitor the fund.

As a result of our work, the Council was ready to launch the fund with confidence that the necessary management, governance and other operational procedures were in place to operate the fund effectively.