Proposals to sell and lease back One Angel Square to help fund social care and other service transformation will be discussed by Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet next week.
As first reported by the Chron in October, it was mentioned in an audit report by independent council bosses that the county council could choose to lease their flagship building, One Angel Square to balance the books.
Under the arrangement, the office complex – which is already saving £53,000 a week on reduced running costs alone - would be sold as freehold with the council leasing it back for a period of 25 years or more.
The authority would also be able to sub-let space within the building to third parties to partially offset rental costs. Council staff working in One Angel Square would continue to do so.
In recent years the Government has allowed councils to use money from the sale of assets to help transform services and this has been presented by the Government as the key way in which councils can rise to their financial challenges.
In these financially challenging times, the county council has taken advantage of this – however the extent of social care demands is such that all funding opportunities need to be pursued.
Now that the county council’s new headquarters is open it provides a capital asset – receipts from which can be used to fund the transformation of services.
Councillor Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for finance said: “Our financial challenge is severe and ongoing and therefore we need to explore all avenues of funding that is available to us to fund our statutory services.
“This arrangement would see substantial capital receipts which would make a significant funding injection for our core services.
“And of course we would remain in One Angel Square for a substantial period of time so we could still get the benefits from this modern, flexible working environment at the heart of the town centre.”
The cabinet meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13 from 2pm.
MORE STORIES FROM THE CHRON:
Northamptonshire refuges could shut if Whitehall changes benefits plan
Fresh start for Northampton... but where should the clean-up begin?
BREAKING NEWS: Northamptonshire County Council will sell and lease back new £53m HQ
Borough council overpays £6million to people on housing benefit in Northampton - and wants it back
Vote to choose how £15,000 of funding is spent on new kit for Northampton playground