A programme of ‘wise investment’ continues to help the local economy and Leicestershire County Council maintain and protect its services, despite insufficient Government funding.
A report to Cabinet sets out the council’s planned approach for commercial property investment for the next five years.
Figures released in September 2020 show that the authority generated £7.1 million over the previous 12 months – an increase of 2.89 per cent. Overall, the developed properties owned by the council, produced a net return of 6.2 per cent, compared to the bank base rate of 0.3 per cent.
Money generated by commercial property investments helps to fund frontline council services such as delivering social care for adults and children and fixing and preventing potholes, helping relieve some of the demand pressures facing critical services.
Our portfolio of properties is performing well, as is demonstrated by the swift take-up of our new industrial units at Airfield Business Park in Market Harborough and Apollo Business Park in Coalville.
“We are committed to investing in projects which help boost the local economy, whether they be new builds or extending those already in existence.
“The revenue such projects generate is more important than ever in these difficult times and is allowing us to continue to invest in vital frontline services.Person:Councillor Byron Rhodes, cabinet member for finance and property
The council has owned and managed ‘investment properties’ in the form of existing industrial and county farms estates for many years, to aid local economic development and to generate revenue and capital returns to the council. The income stream this provides increases the council’s financial resilience at a time when government funding has decreased, but demand for frontline services has increased.
The update will be considered by the council’s Cabinet on 5 February.
The council’s current property portfolio includes:
A new 100,000 sq. ft building at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park – creating a new HQ for tech firm The Access Group. The building was handed over to The Access Group in November. The Access Group’s fit-out works programme is due to complete at the end of March, at which point it will move in.
Airfield Business Park in Market Harborough – the council expanded the site by 80,000 sq. ft to offer industrial units to let, creating more than 200 jobs. Nine of the 12 units have now been let, one is under offer and in solicitors’ hands and the other two have expressions of interest.
Apollo Business Park in Coalville – offering 40,000 sq. ft industrial units and creating 120 jobs - is thriving, with most units now occupied. Fourteen units have been let, with another two in solicitors’ hands. The final unit of 4,600 sq. ft. is available via the council’s agents.