Town hall bor­rows £60m to lend to tower own­ers


Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - by ALICE RICHARD­SON Lo­cal democ­racy re­port­ingser­vice

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.

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