Surrey Heath Borough Council has adopted a strategy of delivering efficiency and increasing income in order for it to be able to maintain services against a backdrop of reduced central government funding.
The Council has borrowed money to invest in property within the Borough, not only to generate an income to pay for services, but also to further its regeneration and economic development aims.
A recent report to Councillors indicated that so far this investment strategy was paying off. The Council had expected to receive a £1.5m contribution to its budget, but performance has been better than predicted.
Members heard that net income since ownership for The Square was 5% ahead of budget, and for the six months to 30 September 2017 almost 15% ahead of budget for the industrial estates the Council owns.
The increased income for The Square is helping to fund the extensive refurbishment of the centre. This should result in returns increasing further, or at least being maintained, in what is a very competitive market.
Phase 1 of The Square refurbishment covering Grace Reynolds Walk has now been completed on time and to budget (More info). Works on the rest of the centre will restart after Christmas.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Moira Gibson said: “We are encouraged by these latest reports from our advisers. The positive results contribute to overall income, and emphasise the importance of our property investments in helping to achieve the Council’s aim of continuing to offer as wide a range of services as possible in the face of Government funding cuts.”