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How property can unlock an area's success

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The role that property has to play in making an area a success is an important one, and underpins much of what makes a thriving community.

A council owned community centre was transformed into a GP surgery under Bedfordshire's OPE programme

How property can unlock an area’s success

A council owned community centre was transformed into a GP surgery under Bedfordshire’s OPE programme

Property and land owned by local authorities, when used in the right way, can be the catalyst for numerous benefits, from the creation of jobs and regeneration to better efficiency for the taxpayer.

The award-winning One Public Estate programme supports collaboration between local authorities, central government and wider public sector partners to deliver ambitious property-based projects that have the power to transform and create better local services, boost economic growth and drive savings.

Sherin Aminossehe, head of the Government Property Unit

Sherin Aminossehe, head of the Government Property Unit

By taking a tailored, local approach to projects, OPE partnerships are able to deliver exactly what it is that a local area most needs – be that new housing, more commercial space, efficiency savings, or all of the above.

Because each partnership is unique, success can take many different forms.

A successful partnership could be the co-location and integration of fire, police and ambulance services in to a new emergency services community station. Through rationalisation of the blue light services, Hayle Town Council in Cornwall was able to release two redevelopment sites and save £500,000 a year on running costs.

The 42 partnerships in the programme are set to deliver at least £56m savings and £138m capital receipts

It could be funding the development of a state-of the-art cancer hub in Sutton, that will support local growth through the creation of 6,200 construction jobs and 7,000 jobs in the life sciences, clinical and support sectors. Not only is this a unique opportunity to transform 26 hectares of brownfield land, it will make a real difference to the community and public services in Sutton.

It could be public sector partnerships establishing a single asset management company, as has been created in Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Both aim to deliver economic and regeneration benefits by maximising the value of their estate portfolios.

Launched in 2013, One Public Estate began as a pilot programme with just 12 areas and has grown swiftly, with now more than 150 councils on the programme in less than five years. The additional £31m funding announced in the 2015 spending review has enabled One Public Estate to establish itself on a national scale.

In October this year, we announced that One Public Estate now supports more than half of all councils in England.

The 42 partnerships in the programme, comprising 176 councils, are set to deliver at least £56m savings, £138m capital receipts, 36,000 jobs and 16,500 homes by 2020.

These projected benefits are set to grow even more.

With £18m worth of funding available in 2017-18, the programme will be looking for new areas with ambitious proposals to join the programme, as well as looking for those already on the programme to come forward with new projects building on their successes to date.

Sherin Aminossehe, head of the Government Property Unit

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