Leeds Council hopes to make £95m selling land and buildings over three years

More than £90 million is expected to be made from sales of buildings and land by Leeds City Council over the next three years.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am

A report, set to go before council decision makers next week, claims the authority is expected to raise around £95 million by selling dozens of sites across the city between 2019 and 2022.

It also warned that the sale of the Leonardo building in Leeds city centre was “not proceeding as anticipated”, but that it was hoped the sale would be complete by the spring.

In addition to sites already sold in recent months, such as Cardigan Road Library and the former Wortley High School, it listed sites including the former Holt Park District Centre, Otley Civic Centre and Abbey Mills in Kirkstall for “disposal” over the next couple of years.

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Otley Civic Centre is listed as one of the buildings on the council's "disposal" list.

Council officers claim the sales would only be for “surplus” sites, and would allow the authority to continue to provide certain services.

The report stated: “Realising capital receipts from the disposal of surplus property assets provides an essential source of capital to contribute towards the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and funding of Council priorities and services.

“This important source of capital receipts can be maintained as the Council manages its property portfolio and rationalises further to provide for a fit for purpose footprint.”

It added: “The success of the programme depends on the performance of purchasers and is highly sensitive to economic conditions. Currently, economic uncertainty is influencing decisions being taken by purchasers and investors.

“In particular the sale of the Leonardo complex of offices is not proceeding as anticipated, although work is taking place to complete the sale by the end of the current financial year.”

The council claims the capital receipts programme had raised more than £500 million since it was introduced in 1990.

The authority expects money raised from property and land sales would hit £23.5 million in 2019/20; £32.4 million in 2020/21; and £40 million in 2021/22.

Other sites on the list include the 28-hectare Redhall estate, a 13.4 hectare site at Alwoodley Lane and a 1.1 hectare site in Lisbon Street.

The document is set to be discussed by Leeds City Council’s Executive Board on Tuesday, January 7.