B&NES plan to bor­row £12m for prop­er­ties

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS -

Stephen Sum­ner Lo­cal democ­racy reporter @stephen­sum­ner15 | 07741 295876 stephen.sum­ner@reach­plc.com

Bor­row­ing £12mil­lion to buy two in­vest­ment prop­er­ties could bring in more than £300,000 a year for Bath and North East Som­er­set Coun­cil to keep ser­vices run­ning.

Au­thor­ity leader Tim War­ren and cabi­net member Charles Ger­rish have signed off the pur­chases but their lo­ca­tions have not yet been made pub­lic. B&NES Coun­cil owns ap­prox­i­mately 1,200 prop­er­ties col­lec­tively worth more than £500mil­lion. Mem­bers agreed a £47.5mil­lion bud­get in Fe­bru­ary to buy more prop­erty in a bid to gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional £1.475mil­lion a year. The first prop­erty is a re­cently built in­dus­trial unit with of­fice, pro­duc­tion and ware­house space that is ex­pected to gen­er­ate an in­come to the coun­cil of £144,050 a year, af­ter costs. The pur­chase price of £5.75mil­lion has been agreed in prin­ci­ple. The prop­erty is just out­side the coun­cil bound­ary, but the au­thor­ity wants to di­ver­sify its port­fo­lio and there are no suit­able of­fice and in­dus­trial in­vest­ments within its bor­ders. The sec­ond prop­erty is a pur­pose­built food store and six shops that were con­structed in the 1980s. It boasts a 214-space car park. B&NES Coun­cil has agreed in prin­ci­ple to buy it for £5.7mil­lion. Af­ter costs, the prop­erty is ex­pected to bring in £190,923 a year. The £12.17mil­lion total for th­ese two prop­er­ties in­cludes pro­fes­sional fees. It will be funded by long-term bor­row­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil web­site, the prop­erty port­fo­lio is split into two main ar­eas. There are “op­er­a­tional as­sets” such as schools, de­pots, car parks, li­braries, of­fices, al­lot­ments, pub­lic con­ve­niences, leisure cen­tres, her­itage prop­er­ties, parks and other open spa­ces. It also owns a num­ber of in­vest­ment prop­er­ties, mainly in the cen­tre of Bath, which pro­duce a sig­nif­i­cant in­come to sup­ple­ment ser­vice de­liv­ery.

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