Council secures another income generating asset

PR2221/PS/MF - 24/05/2019

Mid Sussex District Council has moved to secure two further commercial buildings that will generate much needed rental income and help to finance council services for many years to come.

The council has agreed a £5 million deal to purchase the freehold of two 16,500 sq. ft. retail warehouses on London Road, Burgess Hill, one of which is currently occupied by Halfords.

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 purchase of the two retail warehouses in Burgess Hill will provide a sizeable rental income that will help to offset the loss of government grant funding and provide the Council with a stronger financial platform for the future.

Councillor Judy Llewellyn-Burke, Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“Funding for local Councils has reduced dramatically during the last decade and in Mid Sussex we are constantly working to find new ways of making our money go further.

“The income we receive from Council Tax only covers around one third of the cost of providing Council services in Mid Sussex so we must generate the additional income ourselves with investments like this one.

“I’m proud that Mid Sussex District Council is taking its responsibilities seriously and planning for secure financial future. Investments like this ensure that council money is working hard for the people of Mid Sussex.

“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.”

Car and cycling specialists Halfords occupy one of the two retail units and the second is currently vacant following the closure of Carpetright. The Council is already in negotiations with a leading gym operator to take over the lease of the second unit.