100+ councils sign up to public sector property rationalisation scheme

More than 100 councils are to join the third phase of the ‘One Public Estate’ programme, which is intended to release excess government land and property.

Set up in 2013 and run jointly by the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association, the programme sees all public sector bodies within a locality pool data on their asset holdings and develop joint plans to share property.

The aim is to release land and property which can be reused for housing and new enterprise, boosting local jobs, growth and house building.

Funding and practical support is provided by the Government Property Unit and the LGA.

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So far One Public Estate has supported 32 of the largest land and property owning councils in England. The Government claimed that these councils were set to:

  • create an additional 20,000 jobs and around 9,000 homes;
  • raise £129m capital receipts from land and property sales;
  • save £77m on running costs.

Matthew Hancock, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said: “The One Public Estate programme runs seamlessly through central and local government to save money for taxpayers, whilst delivering more efficient public services.

“It’s a very exciting piece of work that will support a record number of local authorities to be more ambitious and operate at a faster pace than ever before.”

One of the councils on the third phase, Cornwall, will receive £470,000 as part of the project. The local authority is to focus on shared facilities and buildings between blue light services and supporting health and social care integration through shared buildings.

More information on One Public Estate can be found here and here.