Welwyn Hatfield Council sets up multimillion-pound company to tackle funding crisis

PUBLISHED: 15:43 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:09 07 September 2017

Welwyn Hatfield Council offices

Welwyn Hatfield Council offices

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield Council will set up a multimillion-pound property purchasing company to tackle the gaping hole in its finances.

The Cabinet this week voted through plans to set up the enterprise – which involves an initial £10million loan – in a attempt to compensate for central government funding cuts.

WHC aims to have it operational by the end of the year and will target properties between £1million to £5million – typically including residential, offices, industrial and retail.

A council document reads: “The council is facing significant grant reduction from Central Government and the council will receive no Revenue Support Grant from 2019/20.

“The setting up of the company is in response to the financial challenge the council is facing and to increase our financial self-sufficiency.”

Currently WHC is constrained to act within its own borders, whereas a commercial company would have access to opportunities around the country.

It will be run by a board of directors – which will include two senior council officers – but the Cabinet would have overriding power.

More to follow.

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