PORTSMOUTH City Council has been named the city's second best industrial dealmaker of the year by a global real estate media group.
The council's swift and successful leasing of the new purpose-built manufacturing and industrial units it built in Limberline Spur, Hilsea Industrial Estate, put it behind only property consultancy firm Vail Williams in terms of industrial deals completed in the city in the last 12 months, according to worldwide commercial publishing house CoStar.
The prestigious industry recognition comes after the council scooped two top awards at the South Coast Property Awards at the end of last year. Awards host and BBC presenter Jeremy Vine handed the council 'Business Park of the Year' and 'Real Estate Executive/Team of the Year' gongs for its new commercial development Dunsbury Park and for its property and investment team.
The council's director of regeneration Tristan Samuels said: "We're delighted that our top performance as an entrepreneurial, commercially-minded council continues to gain recognition from the industry particularly after such a successful year for our development, property and investment teams in 2017.
"Limberline is a top class development. We built 22 high quality, energy efficient units there to boost the local economy, to create more jobs and to generate new income for the council and it didn't take us long to let them out to local businesses. Our main driver is to make Portsmouth an even better place to live and work but it's a massive extra bonus to have our achievements, in competition with our private sector competitors, recognised for the third time in the last few months."
The Limberline Spur site was previously occupied by the council's former tenants AE Hadley shop fitters. The new units were designed and built by contractors Dawson Wam and range from 441 sq ft to 2,820 sq ft. The development cost £4.4m and the total rental income from the scheme will be in excess of £250,000 per year.
The council is also nearing completion on the building of new shopping development Portsmouth Retail Park on land the authority purchased at North Harbour last year.
The scheme will bring in an extra £1m a year to council coffers and will welcome eight shopping and food outlets and a gym.
Work on the development, next to Tesco Extra, in Southampton Road, is being carried out by property solutions firm Simons Group, who are on target to meet their original completion deadline and hope to be moving tenants in over the next couple of months.
The development is fully let to: Decathalon, Subway, Costa, Greggs, Pure Gym, Home Bargains, Jollyes pet superstore, Explore Learning and The Vet.
Leader of the council Cllr Donna Jones said: "We know the government's revenue support grant is being replaced by 100% business rate retention so we must ensure we are a forward thinking council with a proactive and ambitious appetite for income generation, especially business rates which include commercial developments and business growth.
"We are not just sitting back and accepting the reduction in government grant, we are doing everything we can to bring in extra money to help maintain and improve the services that matter most to local people and that is the basis for our property investment strategy.
"Being one of the most entrepreneurial councils is protecting local services. We are doing something that has never been done before in Portsmouth and it's fantastic that the industry recognises the good job we are doing."
Portsmouth City Council is leading the way nationally in terms of property investment and Portsmouth Retail Park is the eleventh purchase in the council’s property investment portfolio which generates £4.3m per year for council services. This commercial approach has meant the council has been able to mitigate the ongoing cuts to council spending and protect services that would otherwise be at risk. The extra money can be used to pay for things like libraries (£1.96m annual cost), museums (£759,900), weekly rubbish collections (£3.2m), community wardens (£148,800), homelessness services (£615,900) and school crossing patrols (£198,000).
For more information click here, call 023 9283 4349, email CommercialPropertyToLet@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or search 'property investment strategy' at www.portsmouthcc.gov.uk