Since July 2017, Trafford Council has spent £ 336.87 million on investments in a mix of shopping malls, residential areas, an iconic central Manchester storey skyscraper, an old sorting office and a former student town.
The authority’s investment strategy has in the past raised concerns for the Opposition Council, which was concerned that too much debt was being saved for the future.
After the council invested £ 153m. In properties across the urban region in 2019, Labor Group and Council Chairman Coun Andrew Western dismissed those concerns, saying the critical comments showed a “lack of understanding” about the authority’s investment strategy – which he argued prevents cuts in service.
According to a recent Accounting and Audit Committee report, the agency’s primary objective through its investment strategy is “to advance the Trafford Council’s strategic priorities while creating an appropriate revenue stream to support local services.”
The Council’s strategic goal is to build quality, affordable and social housing, support health and well-being, create successful and prosperous communities, create pride in the area and promote green and connected communities.
But where have the 336 million pounds gone?
At present, the largest part of Trafford’s investment portfolio consists of DKK 184.32 million. Pound development debt; money that the council itself has borrowed to then lend to developers or other companies for the purpose of real estate development or purchase.
This includes £ 12.25m. To developers Bruntwood for the former Kellogg factory site in Old Trafford, an additional £ 25.57 million. To Bruntwood for joint purchase of three shopping centers throughout the borough, £ 60m. To Castlebrooke Investments to renovate the CIS tower in central Manchester, £ 67.5 million to Hut Group and £ 19 million to developers Salboy for their redevelopment of the former Castle Irwell student village in Salford.
In some cases, money has also been budgeted as commitments for the above projects, but has not yet been used by the council – a total of 76.57 million.
The second largest part was spent on direct purchases – corresponding to DKK 79.92 million. Pounds of investment budget.
This included the purchase of Altrincham’s Sainsbury’s for £ 25.59m, the Grafton Center and Travel Lodge in Altrincham for £ 10.84m, a Preston estate for £ 17.39m, the Fort in Wigan for £ 13.93m and the Sonova House in Warrington for £ 12.17m.
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Then it is equity investment or shared investment with other bodies; amounts to £ 37.76 million. of the investment portfolio.
This includes the investment of DKK 16.69 million. £ 12.25m in the Stamford borough of Altrincham. Pound at the former Kellogg factory site in Old Trafford and 8.82 million. Pound in Stretford Mall.
Next comes government investment or money given to the state through the purchase of government bonds totaling £ 17.62m.
And finally, the Council’s investment in development both inside and outside Trafford totaled DKK 17.25 million.
This included investments in the forthcoming development of Sale Magistrates court for £ 4.8 million, the redevelopment of Brown Street in Hale for £ 8.82 million. £ 96,000, development of the former post office sorting office on Lacy Street in Stretford for £ 96,000, a nursing home purchase for £ 2.23m. £ and unspecified ‘various development sites’ for £ 43,000.
The council also made a capital investment in some offices off Albert Square in central Manchester last year at a cost of £ 17.62m. Pound.
Last year, in the financial year 2019-20, the Trafford Council achieved a net income of DKK 3,123 million. Pounds from its investment portfolio.
This financial year, 2020-21, is expected to increase to DKK 6,371 million.
In a presentation to the accounts and the audit committee this week, it was stated: “Originally approved in July 2017 for that purpose [was] acquire a balanced portfolio that would facilitate development and regeneration, support the functions of the Council and provide a sustainable revenue stream to support the Council’s budget.
“In December 2020, the Executive Board approved an updated strategy. The changes placed greater emphasis on the ability of new investments to bring about both regeneration and social, economic or environmental benefits for the area and the greater region and to produce an income that provides the council with an economic return.
“The updated strategy also allowed for changes in rules and market conditions to be included in the investment criteria.”
The total approved investment fund for Trafford Council is £ 500 million. And supported by prudent borrowing.
It used to stand at £ 400 million, but this was raised by the Council’s approval in 2020, despite the concerns of the opposition council.
A spokesman for the Trafford Council said: “Our investment asset strategies have been developed to advance our strategic priorities while providing a stable income stream.
“We have done this by securing investments in assets that will support sustainable regeneration, provide improved infrastructure and provide social, economic or environmental benefits to the area and the wider region.
“So far, a total commitment of £ 337 million has been made, and these investments also provide an income that gives the council a financial return.
“Where this has required loans to finance the investment, this has always been done in accordance with CIPFA’s Prudential Code.”
Coun Tom Ross, CFO, added: “For this financial year, we anticipate that our investments will contribute more than DKK 6.5 million. This money is reinvested in key services to support the most vulnerable people in our neighborhood.
“It is important to realize that without that investment – which also supports our plans to rebuild our city centers – we would not be able to provide that level of support.”