A Somerset council has agreed to proceed with plans to set up a new property company that they project will raise £600,000 per annum by 2019.
The company will enable Bath & North East Somerset Council to operate as a commercial landlord and rent flats above council-owned shops. It will also be able to consider potential developments on land it owns.
The council’s cabinet predicts the move will potentially generate £600,000 each year up to 2019, and over £1.5m within 10 years.
The new company is part of the council’s four-year financial plan, designed to generate income and protect frontline services from cuts.
The council also hopes the new company will help to improve the supply, quality and quantity of private rented housing.
Leader of the council, Cllr Tim Warren, said: ‘These plans are about finding creative ways to bring in new income for the council, and meet with two of the cabinet’s top six priorities: creating new homes and jobs, and increasing efficiency so that we can better protect vital services.’
‘This innovative idea’, he continued, ‘is at a very early stage and we expect more opportunities to be identified over the coming months. Throughout the process we will be making use of private sector skills and expertise.’