More Councils to Sell Government Assets

More Councils to Sell Government Assets

Over 100 councils will join the One Public Estate programme – a new approach to managing land and property within a locality.

More local authorities set to sell government assets

Over 100 councils have been selected to join phase 3 of the One Public Estate programme to release excess government land and property.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock, this week wrote to MPs in each of the constituencies selected to take part in this phase, informing them of the council’s success and highlighting the benefits it will bring to their local area.

Working with government, the local authority will have support to take a radically new approach to managing land and property that will deliver significant savings, as well as providing better, more integrated local services in places which are more convenient for users.

The extension of the project will be funded from £6 million announced by the Chancellor at summer budget. A further £31 million has now also been announced as part of the Autumn Statement, which will support further expansion of the programme over the Parliament.

The One Public Estate programme, which is jointly run by Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association (LGA), brings together all public sector bodies within a locality. They will be pooling data on their asset holdings and developing joint plans to share property and release surplus land and buildings for other uses. This will also release land and property which can be reused for housing and new enterprise, boosting local jobs, growth and house building.

The selected councils will build on the current cohort of councils that took part in the first 2 phases of the programme, initially launched in 2013. They will receive funding and practical support from the Government Property Unit and LGA, to remove bureaucratic red tape and unblock barriers.

Since its launch in 2013 One Public Estate has supported 32 of the largest land and property owning councils in England. They are set to:

  • create an additional 20,000 jobs and around 9,000 homes
  • raise £129 million capital receipts from land and property sales
  • save £77 million on running costs

The councils selected for phase 3 are expected to be even more ambitious than in previous phases, working in larger partnerships of councils and delivering projects on a greater scale.

Matthew Hancock, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General said:

The One Public Estate programme runs seamlessly through central and local government to save money for taxpayers, whilst delivering more efficient public services.

It’s a very exciting piece of work that will support a record number of local authorities to be more ambitious and operate at a faster pace than ever before.

Cornwall Council is one of the councils on the third phase and will receive £470,000 as part of the project. They will focus on shared facilities and buildings between blue light services and supporting health and social care integration through shared buildings.

Jeremy Rowe, Cabinet Member for Localism, Cornwall Council said:

Cornwall is delighted to be part of the One Public Estate programme. The scale of funding awarded demonstrates the government’s confidence in our ability to make the best use of the public estate in Cornwall, which is a key part of our devolution deal.

The funding will be used to support the council’s work to bring fire, police and ambulance premises together in a number of towns, building on the success of Cornwall’s first tri-service community emergency station Hayle. The additional funding will also help support the integration of health and social care facilities, which is also a vital part of the Cornwall deal, and enable the devolution and greater community use of library buildings.

Notes to editors:

  • The One Public Estate Programme was initially launched in 2013. It is jointly delivered by the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association
  • In the summer budget the government announced a further £6 million to extend the successful programme, with 107 councils selected for the third phase
  • More information on One Public Estate Phase 3 partnerships and the funding awarded to them

About One Public Estate

The Cabinet Office is working with the Local Government Association to jointly deliver the One Public Estate Programme. It is a pioneering initiative that supports local government and public sector partners locally on land and property initiatives.

It aims to deliver 4 core objectives:

  • create economic growth (including homes and jobs)
  • more integrated and customer-focused services
  • generate capital receipts
  • reduce running costs

View examples of One Public Estate projects on the Local Government Association website.

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