16/06/17: Breckland Council scoops prestigious national award
16 June 2017
Breckland Council has been named the winner of a prestigious national prize, which recognises excellence in local authorities that use collaboration and commercialism to create income from their property assets.
Senior representatives from the council recently picked up the award for the 'Commercialism in the Property Estate' category of the Municipal Journal (MJ) Awards 2017. The event was held at the London Hilton Hotel on the evening of June 15 and hosted by Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS.
Breckland Council impressed the judges with its long-running property investment scheme, which currently includes around 200 commercial properties and generates around £2.5 million income per year - around the same amount of money as the council receives through local council tax and demonstrating the council to be truly commercial.
In addition, working alongside development experts The Land Group, the Council has created the innovative Breckland Bridge joint venture. The partnership completed the £8m Thetford Riverside leisure complex last year and is currently building brand new homes in Mileham.
Breckland Council Leader, Cllr William Nunn, said: "Breckland Council was an early adopter of taking a more commercial approach, in order to diversify our income and reduce our reliance on central government funding. We've continued to build on this in recent years, so I'm absolutely delighted that the council has received this award.
"As a relatively small, rural district council in Norfolk, we were up against some strong competition from across the country. However, we have shown that we are a council that is truly punching above its weight, with the commitment to deliver on our big ideas in order to make a real difference to our residents."
The income the council receives from its commercial property portfolio helps to keep the financial burden off residents. The council charges the lowest district council tax in the country.
Other finalists in the Commercialism in the Property Estate category were Broxbourne Borough Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Colchester Borough Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, and Rushcliffe Borough Council.