New property purchases

Spelthorne announces purchase of three office investments in the vibrant Thames Valley

Spelthorne Borough Council has announced the purchase of The Charter Building in Uxbridge, The Porter Building in Slough and Thames Tower in Reading for £285m.

Spelthorne continues its very successful commercial property investment strategy with the purchase of a tranche of three prestigious commercial buildings in the Thames Valley to add to their portfolio.

Comprising 545,000 sq.ft, the three properties are occupied by a wide range of investment grade tenants on a variety of lease terms.

Early acquisitions, such as the ground breaking BP deal two years ago were primarily to fill the gaps left by reductions in central government and county council funding and to protect the services residents need and expect. Having met these early objectives we are now able to enhance local services and indeed are now also investing to provide homes for residents, including emergency housing, a single homeless hostel, affordable and general housing provision.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Harvey, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to secure these excellent investment properties. This purchase fits well with our strategy to provide secure revenue streams which help us fund important services for our residents, avoid cuts, and help us deliver various projects to provide much needed additional housing in the Borough. This is one further step in our drive to become financially self-sufficient. Once again we have demonstrated that "Spelthorne Means Business".

"Our approvals and due diligence processes are extremely robust and our approach restrained, prudent and risk-averse. We have comprehensive treasury management and borrowing strategies. We only purchase if an investment generates a significant and sustainable annual revenue stream to support the services we provide to residents. We use external advisors of the highest calibre to help us with all aspects of the process and have invested in a newly hired highly skilled property team within the Council to both support purchases and manage our growing property portfolio."

Cllr Howard Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "Our strategy of investing to generate income that can be used to support services is proving sound and is enabling us to finance important initiatives for the benefit of Spelthorne residents such as much-needed housing and local infrastructure projects such as the innovative light rail proposal. I would also like to reiterate that the Council does not speculate with taxpayers' money. We walk away from ten times as many opportunities as we investigate and only take on property investments that stand up to the closest of scrutiny, the most thorough due diligence and the most expert independent analysis."