13 December 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The government has announced that 90 per cent of councils are now part of a programme that will create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 homes.
As part of today's funding announcement, 56 council-led partnerships will receive £8.7 million funding to improve public services, stimulate economic growth and free up land for thousands of new homes.
The funding has been allocated from the One Public Estate (OPE) programme, a partnership between the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association.
This initiative gives partnerships the support and funding to help them to use publicly owned land and buildings more efficiently, benefiting communities across the country.
One Public Estate is giving local authorities - and their public sector partners - access to the £8.7m of funding as well as practical support and expertise, to help them develop and deliver ambitious property programmes for their communities. Launched in 2013, the programme has grown from 12 areas to support more than 90 per cent of councils with the new projects announced this month.
By 2020, partnerships on the programme are expected to deliver £615m in capital receipts, £158m running costs savings, create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 new homes.
Caroline Nokes, minister for government resilience and efficiency, said: "When I launched this application round in August, I hoped that new funding and the obvious benefits of the programme would grab the attention of councils and boost the numbers getting involved. I'm delighted to see that we now have over 90 per cent of councils on board, up from around three-quarters previously. People in many more communities will feel the benefits of new housing, better public services and efficiency as a result."
Councillor Nick Forbes, senior vice-chair of the LGA, said: "Councils play a crucial role in their communities. With the right funding and support they can help transform them and ensure that they are enjoyable and prosperous places to live. One Public Estate is a good example of providing coordinated backing for councils and I am glad that so many of them are taking part in this important initiative."