Asset purchase provides greater financial security for Mid Sussex District Council

PR2194/PS/MF - 19/11/2018

Mid Sussex District Council has taken another step towards financial self-sufficiency by agreeing a £6.3million deal to purchase the freehold of commercial property at 255-269 London Road, Burgess Hill, currently occupied by Wickes DIY.

Government funding for Mid Sussex District Council has reduced dramatically in recent years. In 2010, Mid Sussex received £6.4 million in Revenue Support Grant towards the provision of local public services but this reduced year-on-year to zero in 2018.

With the removal of the Revenue Support Grant, Mid Sussex District Council must find other ways to generate the income it needs to continue providing services for local people. The Council’s purchase of the Wickes site in Burgess Hill will provide a sizeable rental income of £325,000 per annum that will help to offset the loss of government grant funding.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:

“2018 was the year that Government funding to the District Council reached zero and with Council Tax only funding around one third of the cost of providing Council services in Mid Sussex we must generate the additional income ourselves with investments like this one.

“Our long-term goal is to be 100% financially self-sufficient so, no matter what happens at national government level, we will have secure funding streams in place to deliver our services for local people.

“By investing carefully in local property, we can secure a stable source of income to fund local services, help to regenerate our towns and support the economic wellbeing of the district.”

The Wickes site comprises a purpose built retail warehouse, which was recently comprehensively refurbished and refitted by Wickes to create a mezzanine area for a bathroom and kitchen showroom. Externally there is a builders’ yard, outdoor projects centre and a car park with 81 spaces.

The store is let on a fully repairing and insuring lease to Wickes Building Supplies Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Travis Perkins plc.