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Basildon looks to invest £100m in regeneration

The leader of Basildon Council has called for a £100m boost to its investment fund to buy up sites in the town centre.

Members of the policy and resources committee agreed last week to increase to council’s commercial and strategic acquisition strategy in a bid to fast-track its regeneration plans for the town centre.

‘In order to acquire assets, it is recommended that a mechanism be put in place to enable the council to react quickly and commercially to land and property opportunities,’ the report to councillors states.

‘Without this the council is at risk of missing strategic opportunities or not achieving best value for money through negotiations.’

The council leader, Cllr Gavin Callaghan said it was ‘committed to regeneration on a scale we haven’t seen’ in Basildon for 70 years.

‘By putting £100m on the table for investors to see, we are signalling our clear intent. Basildon council means business when it comes to regeneration,’ said Cllr Callaghan.

‘Our goal now will be to ensure full council approves the funding at an extraordinary council meeting on Thursday 8 August so we can get on with taking back control of sites in the town centre.

‘I’m more confident than I have ever been that Basildon town centre is set to change for the better. There is plenty of hard yards left to tread but this decision means that within the first three months of this administration we will have commissioned a new masterplan and invested significant money into the project to ensure that Basildon town centre regeneration finally gets going.’

The committee also agreed to approve the appointment of an investment advisor to work alongside the commercial and strategic acquisition strategy.

According to the report that went before councillors, the council has already invested around £42.2m across four commercial properties, including acquisition and capital costs.

The properties are expected to generate £0.94m in income during 2019/20 and £1.2m in 2020/21, rising to £1.4m  from 2021/22 onwards.

Photo Credit – Stevepb (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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