Town hall borrows £60m to lend to tower owners
TRAFFORD COUNCIL INVESTS IN MANCHESTER LANDMARK
TOWN hall bosses have borrowed £60 million from the government to pass onto a private investment company which owns a landmark skyscraper in central Manchester.
The Grade II-listed CIS Tower in Miller Street, Manchester, was sold to Castlebrooke Investments in May 2017 for £66 million.
Trafford council said it had not bought the tower, but said it has lent the investment company the millions to support a ‘refinance and refurbishment’ of the skyscraper.
The 387ft, 28-floor tower is currently used by the Co-operative Bank, who rent office space from Castlebrooke.
Trafford council borrowed the funds from a central government scheme known as the Public Works Loan Board scheme which allows local authorities to borrow money at a lower interest rate in a bid to encourage more spending on development in local areas.
The choice to borrow the money to support a secondary loan is part of the council’s investment strategy, and the authority expects to make just under £1.4 million return, on top of the loan repayment, in interest rates.
The council also bought four prominent offices around Albert Square in Manchester last month for a further £17.62 million.
To date, the council has spent £287.8 million for its investment portfolio, according to its latest budget monitoring report.
A spokesperson for Trafford council said: “The council has provided a £60m refinance and refurbishment loan to the owners of the CIS Tower for works to the building as part of our corporate investment strategy.”
Castlebrooke Investments has been contacted but has not responded.