Increasing property portfolio could make money for Calderdale Council

Criteria has been drawn up for possible council property purchases
Criteria has been drawn up for possible council property purchases

Criteria to be used by Calderdale Council to increase its property investment portfolio has been drawn up for members to consider.

The criteria follows a workship which included leader of the council Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) and Cabinet member for Resources, Performance and Business Change Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) and was presented to members of the council’s Corporate Asset and Facilities Management (CAFM) Asset Management Board at Halifax Town Hall.

The aim is that purchases can be made from which, for example, rental incomes can be used to raise revenue for the council.

Councillors heard suitable properties could be anywhere in the UK with all sectors – such as retail, industrial and specialist premises like care homes – but purchases would be to some extent market-led or have the potential to produce stronger incomes in the future.

Acquisitions would be low yield, at between two and six per cent net, but would be low risk to the council.

Tenancies would be considered on an individual basis but should be financially strong and decisions delegated to council officers to act within the strategy’s parameters.

Chairing the meeting and in answer to questions from members of the board, Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said there was no intention that the council would just start buying up lots of property without any purchases being carried out other than openly and transparently.

These investments would be held by the council not a separate company and would be financed by the Public Works Loan Board, which is a Government treasury statutory body.

Capital growth would not be a pre-requisite but rental growth would be driven by demand from tenants or availability of supply, officers’ report to the board summarised.

Board members noted the report, with the main criteria still to be considered by full council.