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In a rapidly changing economic and social environment, local government at all levels is facing ever-tougher pressures to deliver services effectively whilst maintaining operational and financial prudence and sustaining community support. We advocate better use of property assets as part of the solution.
Although many councils have owned property for operational, non-operational and/or investment purposes for some time, they now have greater autonomy to leverage this asset base and to raise and/or invest funds in order to meet their corporate objectives. Site-specific or portfolio-level asset strategies should now be key foundation stones for any successful council.
In recent times, approaches to local government revenue generation have been under increased scrutiny. However, in reality, many councils are making shrewd decisions based on good market-facing advice and robust investment strategies with the results benefiting their communities. In fact, there are far-reaching opportunities for innovation and creative commercial thinking, as well as returns, when a clear purpose and understanding of priorities for delivery is in place.
An increased appetite for local housing delivery means more councils are applying a range of delivery models from planning, promotion and direct development through to partnership structures and joint ventures. At the same time, stimulating regeneration, placemaking and economic development through targeted enabling, investment and development strategies remains a mainstay for any council looking to ensure social and economic sustainability.
In any event, local government property decisions should be considered in the context of a medium to long-term vision or strategy, including consideration of wider corporate strategies, as well as options for leveraging existing assets or perhaps combining assets with other government or private sector landowners via a partnership or joint venture opportunities.
Local authorities are in one of the strongest positions to drive change in their locality and working with both public and private sector bodies, we aim to harness the opportunities this changing market presents and unlock potentially complex projects. Offering a coordinated approach, and starting with mutual understanding, we provide holistic market-facing advice that taps into a wide spectrum of consultancy expertise, including planning and development, site assembly, valuation, investment, asset management, masterplanning, lease advisory, agency, repurposing and regeneration.
Supporting networks such as Local Government Association, ACES, Future of London and London First, we ensure our teams are expertly informed on the drivers and requirements faced by many councils and have far-reaching networks to offer further support and guidance that places local needs at its centre.