The Council's Property Portfolio
Pictured: The Council-owned Post Office and Park Street Properties, the Market Street Shops, and the Community Centre
The town derives substantial benefit from the rental income for the properties it owns. It is almost unique for a town of its size in having a property portfolio of this significance. The properties owned by the Council are:-
- The Town Hall, a listed building of major historic significance. Within the Town Hall is a small leased premises.
- 2 Market Street
- 4 Market Street
- 2 Park Street
- 4 Park Street
- 6 Park Street
- 8 Park Street
- The Community Centre in New Road, which includes individually commercially rented rooms.
These properties are managed on behalf of the Town Council by Property Consultants Carter Jonas. The capital value of these assets are estimated to be in the region of £8.2 million pounds. The town council has a duty to ensure good value to the ratepayers in the town but, within these clear audit responsibilities, it seeks to encourage a diversity of retail services from its commercial properties. The net financial benefit varies from year to year depending on maintenance and improvement costs, but is typically in the order of £50,000. Some of this income is held in capital reserves for future maintenance.
Our town hall is licensed for weddings and other registrations and the net income from these sources in the last full year was over £6,000. Weddings are a popular enterprise for the town council and generate business and publicity for the town. Our income from other Town Hall and Community Centre bookings is in excess of £27,000. The Council has installed a stair lift permitting limited disabled access to both the ground floor Council chamber and the first floor assembly rooms.
The Community Centre is fully accessible for disabled people and has been refurbished with good audio-visual facilities and a well equipped kitchen.