A SUPERMARKET in Hampshire owned by a bankrupt council is about to be bought.
A council report stated Waitrose doesn’t need to lengthen its lease in Gosport after it expires in 2025 on account of a drop in commerce.
It comes as Slough Borough Council is promoting as much as £600m value of its properties and land.
The worth of its properties has dropped by tens of millions of kilos and it’s going through a £680m borrowing debt and £479m price range black gap.
Properties and being bought embrace Waitrose in Gosport and the Odeon Cinema in Basingstoke.
A Wickes retailer in Wolverhampton and a Euroway warehouse in Bradford are additionally being bought.
Council chief James Swindlehurst has stated the property exterior Slough are “not liked” by residents and are not wanted.
The council is making an attempt to lift £50m in 2022/23 – and hopes to succeed in £100m by March 31 to repay its money owed.
In accordance with a council report, the properties have been purchased between 2017 and 2019 for a complete of £31.8m.
They have been purchased as investments to pump income into the council’s price range – however the yields they gave weren’t as beneficiant because the council initially thought.
Property advisor Avison Younger stated the Odeon and the Waitrose have fallen in worth by £5.2m on account of Covid-19 and inflation affecting the cinema market.
The grocery store commerce in Gosport has fallen and the Waitrose within the space has not traded nicely.
That is a lot in order that Waitrose bosses have stated they don’t want to lengthen its lease when it expires in 2025.
Two bids have been obtained for the Basingstoke cinema, whereas just one bidder was within the Waitrose grocery store.
The opposite two property have largely maintained their worth and have had vital curiosity and bidders.
The present complete worth of all 4 property is £26.6m.
Nevertheless, the entire gives on the Bradford warehouse and Wilkes retailer exceed present valuations by £1.3m, which means the council might bag £27.9m – a £3.9m loss.
The report states this almost £4m loss will likely be written off to the capital adjustment account within the council’s steadiness sheet. Promoting the properties may also scale back its borrowing prices by £644,000.
Commissioners despatched in by the federal government to assist repair the council’s monetary governance woes strongly supported the gross sales however will speak with exterior auditors on whether or not the council’s purchases have been a ‘good and acceptable’ use of public cash.
They acknowledged it was ‘unclear’ what skilled valuation recommendation was given when the 4 property have been purchased.
In addition they acknowledged: “It’s onerous to see why the council, within the mild of this info, might have determined that these investments have been a very good and acceptable use of public cash.
“Commissioners will focus on with the exterior auditors whether or not this matter ought to be formally referred to them for investigation and report.”
A choice will likely be made by senior councillors at a cupboard assembly on Wednesday, September 21.