News story

Council asset programme opens to new applicants

Local authorities can apply for a programme to help save money and create new homes and jobs through better use of their assets.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The One Public Estate programme, run by Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association (LGA) will support local councils to create economic growth, generate capital receipts, reduce their running costs and provide more integrated and customer-focused services.

For more about the selection criteria and application process, view the One Public Estate prospectus. Apply by 4pm on 12 May 2014.

Successful authorities will receive:

  • £40,000 in initial funding
  • comprehensive support from the GPU and LGA
  • access to Whitehall departments and LGA officials so that they can work with central government and leverage funding from other sources

They will work and share best practice with other local authorities and the wider public sector.

Twelve pilot councils have generated significant savings through the first phase of the programme, funded by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit (GPU) and delivered by the LGA. Projected savings for the first year are £21 million, with £88 million in capital receipts, while local economies will benefit by an estimated £40 million. The programme could also create some 5,500 jobs and 7,500 homes.

Councillor Peter Fleming, Chair of the LGA’s Improvement Board, said:

Public assets can be used to great effect to fund regeneration, housing and jobs. We know by examining these assets councils can not only make money but bring down running costs and use facilities more effectively, for example by reducing the number of offices.

At a time when local government has faced cuts of 40% since 2010 this is a great opportunity for councils to reap the benefits of the assets they hold. Such work can have a significant impact and from the pilot we have seen examining assets can make councils more efficient, with better results. Through the extension of the One Public Estate programme more councils can benefit from using their public assets effectively and we look forward to receiving their applications.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

This programme clearly shows the significant opportunities for efficiency and growth when central and local government work together and leverage their land and property in order to encourage regeneration and co-located services that benefit the taxpayer. I look forward to expanding this programme across the country.

For more information about the programme, contact info@local.gov.uk.

Published 7 May 2014