William Eichler 18 September 2017

Council-owned company purchases first property

A council-owned property investment company has purchased its first property in an investment which promises an income of over £200,000 a year.

Tandrige District Council’s company Gryllus bought the property - which had previously been let to Marks & Spencer - in Maidstone’s primary shopping area for £3.25m.

The district council set up Gryllus to allow it to buy property outside of its district area - a move it hopes will make it financially self-sufficient in the face of the reduced grants from the Government.

The company was created using the council’s £50m Property Investment Fund which is funded from the available capital reserves and through borrowing at low interest rates.

The council expects the purchase of the Maidstone property to generate a net revenue income of £226,000 a year.

‘Today’s news that Gryllus has completed its first purchase is an important first step for the council in creating a new revenue stream which puts us firmly on the road to becoming financially self-sufficient,’ said Cllr Simon Ainsworth, who chairs the resources committee, which set up the fund and the company.

‘I am delighted we are taking every opportunity to secure income to help us achieve our ambitions and sustain our services, taking a path many councils are already using.

‘This is all about making sure we put ourselves in the best position to continue to provide excellent services for our residents and businesses.’

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