Commercial News Item
How one council’s decision to invest in CCLA’s Property Fund has created £150k for key community projects.
In 2013, Blandford Forum Town Council in Dorset found themselves with reserves of £400,000, some of which came from the sale of a property no longer required. Rather than letting it sit stagnant, the council bought units in CCLA’s Local Authorities’ Property Fund.
The fund was created as a long-term opportunity for local authorities – including parish and town councils – who have more than £25,000 to invest, whether from core reserves or, for example, from the sale of a piece of land.
The investment has proved fruitful for Blandford council: over seven years it has received more than £150,000 in dividends. In turn, this has funded a variety of community projects that either may not have been possible or may have taken years longer to complete.
“It means we are able to progress projects that might otherwise be held on the backburner due to a lack of funding,” says Town Clerk Linda Scott-Giles.
The council has used the interest received for both bricks-and-mortar projects and community events. After quotes to extend their garden pavilion came in at almost double the amount expected, for example, the money received from the property fund meant they could give the go-ahead to the work, which was completed last year.
“It was in desperate need of refurbishment and is regularly used by community groups,” says Linda. “It’s been really well received by residents – and boosted staff morale!”
The council has also used the money to support Blandford’s summer ‘Skatefest’ for young people – as well as creating a series of promotional videos to boost tourism.
“So many projects are now more realistic and achievable with the returns we have received. It is an excellent, low risk investment option for town and parish councils,” says Linda.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments and the income derived from them may fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested and may lose money. CCLA Investment Management Limited and CCLA Fund Managers Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
CCLA Local Authorities’ Property Fund
- Created by local authorities, for local authorities
- £1.17bn invested by 250 authorities, including 104 parish and town councils
- A diversified portfolio of more than 75 commercial properties
- Minimum initial investment is £25,000
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