Laura Sharman 04 July 2017

Councils spent £1bn on property assets last year to boost income

Local authorities spent more than £1bn acquiring property in 2016 as a way of generating new revenue, according to a new report published today.

The report, published by APSE and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), shows that more councils are purchasing property for investment purposes.

It shows how some councils are using this revenue to support public services, with a small number arguing it will allow them to become fully independent of national grant funding.

‘This report shows that property investment, if conducted properly, provides councils with the opportunity to raise substantial funds,’ said APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien.

‘APSE is not arguing that all councils can use this to meet their budget needs, but it is a further mechanism that councils can deploy to generate much needed funding to plug the gaps created by ongoing austerity. Essentially, what we are seeing is investment for social purpose.’

The report - Bricks – Mortar – Money: Property investment as a potential means of securing an additional and sustainable source of revenue - brings together advice, support and case studies on this topic.

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