An office block has been purchased by Wyre Forest District Council as part of its ongoing plans to generate income to support local services.
The council has bought Stratford Court in Solihull. It is a 30,000 sq ft office building just off junction 4 of the M42 on the A34 into Shirley. The £6.1m purchase was completed last Friday, after councillors gave it the go ahead at exempt meetings in early September.
This is the second purchase made by the council this year as part of its plans to acquire assets that support local economic recovery and generate income streams. It follows the purchase of retail units in Kidderminster in June.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of the Council said:“The council adopted its Capital Portfolio Strategy in 2017 as part of its plans to invest up to £25m in developing its own assets or acquiring new properties. This new acquisition reaffirms the council’s commitment to supporting economic growth as a partner in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership as well as generating vital income for the council to invest in delivering services to the residents of Wyre Forest.”
Councillor Nathan Desmond, Cabinet Member for Resources said:“This acquisition will generate an anticipated net income of more than £125,000 per year over a four year average, which can be ploughed back into supporting council services in Wyre Forest. The council has other opportunities in the pipeline that it is pursuing within the district, by bringing forward development proposals on our own sites to support employment and residential growth. We will continue to look for appropriate investments outside the district where they offer exceptional opportunities to add to the portfolio and generate new income streams, as well as supporting wider economic growth.”
Wyre Forest District Council adopted its initial Capital Portfolio Strategy in June 2017 and refreshed it in March 2018. The strategy sets out the geography within which the council is able to consider acquisitions outside the district boundary, that being the combined geography of the two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) that it is currently a member of – the Worcestershire LEP and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP.
As a member of the LEPs the district council wants to be able to support economic growth, as that then ensures that the local Wyre Forest economy can also benefit.
By investing in Solihull the council is contributing to the success of the LEP and in turn strengthening the local economy as a partner within the LEP. The added benefit for the residents of Wyre Forest is that the net returns from those investments outside the district are then recycled locally to support the council’s services.
The council is aiming to build a portfolio of assets that includes developments on its own land as well as acquisitions, across a variety of sectors – commercial, retail, industrial and residential – and across the geography described above, as this offers the best balance of risk.