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AS many of you may al­ready know, as well as be­ing the ex­ec­u­tive leader of Tameside coun­cil I am also the chair of the Greater Manch­ester Pen­sion Fund (GMPF), the largest pub­lic sec­tor pen­sion fund in the coun­try.

In my role as chair, it was my plea­sure to be in at­ten­dance on a re­mark­able day for Manch­ester on Novem­ber 15, as we cel­e­brated the top­ping out of Deans­gate Square. Based in the south­ern edge of the city cen­tre, the de­vel­op­ment ● con­sists of four sky­scrapers, one of which now stands as not only the tallest build­ing in Manch­ester, but the tallest build­ing in the coun­try out­side of Lon­don.

This is the point where you might be ask­ing “What does the Pen­sion Fund have to do with a build­ing in Manch­ester?” The GMPF has sup­ported the con­struc­tion of Deans­gate Square through a £30 mil­lion loan.

Since its es­tab­lish­ment in 1990, the GMPF has de­vel­oped more than one mil­lion square feet of com­mer­cial build­ings within Greater Manch­ester. The Pen­sion Fund also set up Ma­trix Homes, whose in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme has led to the suc­cess­ful con­struc­tion of 240 high-qual­ity fam­ily homes across five sites in Manch­ester.

Tameside it­self has also ben­e­fited from sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment by the GMPF.

The base of op­er­a­tions for the fund is the state-of-the-art Guards­man Tony Downes House in Droyls­den. We’re also look­ing at op­tions for de­vel­op­ing the fund’s plots of land in Staly­bridge, bring­ing fur­ther hous­ing and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to one of our towns.

All of th­ese in­vest­ments have been guided by the Pen­sion Fund’s twin aims; pro­vid­ing a com­mer­cial re­turn that will al­low us to con­tinue to meet our obli­ga­tions to our mem­bers, and sup­port­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment and re­gen­er­a­tion of our lo­cal area.

Pen­sion Funds are in a unique po­si­tion to make this a re­al­ity, as our fi­nan­cial strength means that we can de­liver the fire­power nec­es­sary to make sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ments hap­pen.

We’re also an in­vestor for the long term.

Fi­nally, and I truly be­lieve that this is the most im­por­tant rea­son; we are em­bed­ded within our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. Pro­vid­ing our mem­bers with com­fort and dig­nity in their re­tire­ment and in­vest­ing in things that make their lives bet­ter is at the very heart of who we should be as a pen­sion fund.

When look­ing at it that way you can see the true sig­nif­i­cance of the cer­e­mony at Deans­gate Square. As im­pres­sive as it was, it is but one piece of the GMPF’s wider am­bi­tion for Greater Manch­ester. It’s an am­bi­tion of a city re­gion of op­por­tu­nity for all, a city re­gion of world-class in­fras­truc­ture and pro­duc­tiv­ity, a city re­gion that is the best place in the UK, if not the world, to live and work.

Coun Brenda War­ring­ton

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