To date the sale of city council-owned property assets has realised over £63 million.
Nottingham City Council has embarked on an ambitious Asset Rationalisation Programme, according to a report which will be presented to the Housing and City Development Scrutiny Committee on January 22, 2024.
This initiative is a crucial part of the ‘Together for Nottingham’ plan, aiming to streamline the Council’s assets for better financial health and strategic efficacy.
The programme’s primary goal is to ensure the best value from the Council’s assets through strategic planning and analysis, identifying properties that are surplus to requirements.
This initiative is not just about selling off assets; it’s a calculated approach to managing the Council’s property portfolio, aiming to generate significant capital receipts to meet current commitments within the capital programme and reduce the Council’s borrowing levels.
Since the financial year 2021/22, the programme has £64 million in receipts achieved from asset disposals.
The Council has set a three-year forecast for the programme, aiming for a total pipeline of £74.3 million from 2023 to 2026.
The Council has managed to secure £8.4 million against a target of £13.6 million for the financial year 2023/24.
To accelerate the disposal process, the Council says that it has taken several steps, including implementing a new Disposals Policy, enhancing decision-making processes, increasing the use of auctions for quicker sales, recruiting additional surveyor capacity, and initiating comprehensive review processes across the property portfolio.
The reviews cover various asset classes, such as investment properties, high-value assets, agricultural assets, and the operational estate. These reviews are instrumental in identifying assets that no longer meet the ‘best value’ criteria for the Council.
However, the journey is not without its challenges. The Council faces potential risks, such as the loss of revenue from income-generating commercial properties and recruitment difficulties in professional surveyor roles, which are critical to the disposal process. To mitigate these issues, a new decision matrix has been developed, assessing the full financial impact of disposals, including potential revenue loss and future capital expenditures.
Furthermore, the Council is actively managing unforeseen factors that can arise during the legal due diligence process of disposals, such as unregistered property titles or legal challenges to ownership or sale.