Investing for Winchester’s future

Press Release: 14/03/2014

A list of the Council’s investment proposals is set out in a report that looks at the City Council’s current property-related work.

The report, which goes to the Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 19 March, outlines a dozen projects that show how the Council’s decisions as a landowner and planning authority will have a significant impact on the local economy.

Cllr Keith Wood, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

The Council has access to land, finance and professional skills and it is using these to help shape the economic future of the City.

With reductions in Government expenditure likely to continue, it is important for the City to maximise its return from its assets to compensate for this. We need to be able to maintain services for residents without increasing Council Tax. More non-public sector employment in Winchester is needed, especially to provide opportunities for young people.

Winchester is an attractive location for office-users. It has good transport links to London, an attractive environment, a skilled workforce, a range of good quality housing, high quality shopping and restaurants. The cost of office space is lower than in London and sites close to the railway station will be attractive for regional head offices.

We are not intending to sell any land and there will be no speculative development. The Council will only enter in agreements that ensure a long lease and that stack up financially to meet our objectives.

Projects covered in the report include major development opportunities around the Carfax and the Cattle Market, the lease of Abbey Mill to River Cottage for a new restaurant, the lease of Avalon House to the Southern Health NHS Trust, Silver Hill-related acquisitions, and development of affordable housing at sites such as Victoria House and the site of the former New Queen’s Head public house in Stanmore.