County Council achieves success in property investment
Council makes the right moves when it comes to its property plans
Over the past five years Gloucestershire County Council has achieved significant success when it comes to property investment – investing more than £100million in schools and developing plans for redeveloping the Quayside site in Gloucester.
Details of these achievements and plans for the future will be considered by the council’s Cabinet when it meets on 24 April to consider the council’s Corporate Asset Management Plan 2019-2024.
The county council’s investments and achievements over the last five years include:
- Spending £100million on education, increasing the number of available school places to children of preschool, primary and secondary ages
- Developing proposals for a new office building on the site of the former Quayside House, to provide two GP surgeries, office space, a pharmacy and parking
- Supporting the delivery of 295 student places as part of the wider Blackfriars & Quayside Regeneration project, through the One Public Estate (made up of GCC and our Health, Fire, Police, Borough and District partners)
The council has also taken steps to ensure its own buildings are as energy efficient as possible, reducing its carbon emissions by insulating the whole of Shire Hall and installing highly energy-efficient windows, incorporating solar panels into the roof, fully enclosing and insulating the top floor to keep heat in during cold weather and providing open plan offices to increase efficiency, as well as improving services by locating other like-minded services under the same roof:
- Refurbishing the Shire Hall complex to re-locate many of our partners on one site; the improved facilities are low maintenance to reduce running costs
- Relocating services from Quayside House into the new building, connecting them with other services in Shire Hall
- The new Barbican reception building, on the site of the old magistrates’ court, brings together Gloucester social care teams in one place, providing improved reception access for disabled visitors and families and private rooms for confidential discussions
The council has also disposed of more than 200 surplus assets since 2011, generating £105million in capital receipts which has helped to fund £100million of capital spending on education, enabling improvements and upgrades to be carried out to schools and over £7million to be spent on maintaining the schools estate, as well as many other projects. A formal planning application is due to be submitted in the summer for a new £30million school in Cheltenham, which is due to open in 2021.
The next phase of the programme aims to generate £33million in capital receipts over the next three years between April 2018 and March 2021.
Objectives and plans for the future include:
- Delivering a potential £65million Quayside development programme, to include a health and office hub and 500-space car park
- Supporting the One Public Estate in building 500 new homes and creating 1,000 new jobs by identifying suitable sites in the county
- A new £30million secondary school in Cheltenham
- A new 50 place social, emotional, mental health (SEMH) special school
Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for economy, skills and growth, said: “We have achieved a great deal over the past five years and it is great to see communities benefiting from the significant investment we have made.
“We are committed to go on working with partners to share buildings in order to deliver better, more joined up services and raise funds to invest in future projects.”