Council continues to build its property investment portfolio

Date published: 23 October 2018
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West Lindsey District Council has purchased a second property in the district as part of its investment strategy to support services for local people.

The news comes months after the council received an unqualified audit outcome and value for money assessment from its external auditors.

The council can reveal it has now purchased a property located at Unit 1 Heaton Street in Gainsborough town centre for £1.1 million making it, the fifth purchase to date.

Leader of the council, Cllr Jeff Summers has also confirmed there will be more property purchases in the coming months to support local services.

He said: “I am pleased to announce that we have purchased another property in our district as per our agreed Investment Strategy. The latest purchase, which is in Gainsborough has passed our stringent, 14-point scoring criteria, giving us confidence it was the right move.

“All our investments, whether they are inside or outside the district will ultimately support services and be put back into the economic regeneration and growth of our district. We’re trying to generate the best possible return for our residents’ and will therefore consider investing in opportunities wherever they arise. The council has sound financial and legal knowledge and great care is made on each of the investments we make.”

Since the launch of the investment strategy in April 2017 the following property investments have been made:

  1. Bradford Road, Keighley property, sub-let to Travelodge
  2. 43 Penistone Road, Sheffield. Let to Greenwich Leisure Ltd
  3. Unit 7 Drake House Sheffield. Let to Panache Lingerie Ltd
  4. Unit 5 Sanders Road, Gainsborough. The property is let to Coveris Flexibles (Gainsborough) LtdUnit
  5. 1 Heaton Street, Gainsborough. The property is let to W Boyes & Co Limited

The five investment acquisitions concluded to date, a total spend of £15.1m, and generate a diverse and sustainable contribution to the council’s revenue, which can be grown over the medium-term.

Nationally, all councils are faced with continued reduction in grants from central government and it is anticipated to be reduced to nil by 2020. Grant funding to West Lindsey District Council has reduced by £4m since 2012.

Ian Knowles Executive Director of Resources at West Lindsey District Council added:  

“We are not alone in our approach to investment opportunities. Our investment strategy was approved by the council’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee in April 2017.

“Our latest acquisition is part of a portfolio of investments which will generate income from rent and future resale to support services, economic regeneration and growth.”

The council follows a stringent set of guiding principles under which it will invest. As part of the acquisition process, the council follows a 14 point scoring criteria that ensures it considers all issues i.e. the condition of the property, tenant financial standings, yield return and proximity to the district. For clarity the council receives a market rental for the properties and it is in no way involved in the individual businesses operating from the properties.

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