Doncaster Council has approved plans to set up a £4 million fund to invest in commercial properties across the borough in a bid to raise rental income.
The plans were given the green light by the council’s cabinet at a meeting this week, and £2 million will be put aside for property investments in the borough over the next two financial years.
Papers which went before the cabinet this week stated that the council hopes to bring in an estimated £280,000 per year in rental income through the property investments.
The local authority has previously been criticised for selling off some of the council’s assets, with the Keepmoat Stadium among the items in the town’s property portfolio that went under the hammer.
The money used for the £4 million commercial property fund will come from the council’s capital budget, money which cannot legally be spent on the running of the council’s core services.
Dave Wilkinson, the council’s assistant director of trading services and assets, said: “Cabinet have agreed to begin creating a £4m fund for the council to invest in commercial property in Doncaster to earn rental income and invest in Doncaster’s future.
“This should raise an extra £280,000 per annum which is much needed to support local services in the wake of central Government cuts.
“In doing this we are following the example of many other councils who have successfully invested in commercial property.
“Half of the money for investment will come from assets we have sold, the remainder could come from next year’s capital budget.
“None of this money will come from the council’s revenue budget that is used for running day-to-day services.
“These are capital funds which must be spent on longer term investments.”
Speaking at the meeting, cabinet member Bill Mordue said: “I think it is the right thing to do.”