New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

1:45pm - 25 February 2021

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light  at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council. 

The asset, accommodation and development strategies seek to maximise the potential of old, underused sites owned by the council, generating funds that can be invested back into valued council facilities and development opportunities across the area.

It is hoped that these strategies will help take important steps towards realising some of the ambitious aims set out in the council’s corporate plan, including the delivery of affordable new homes, protection of the environment and adaptations that can protect key services from future financial pressures. 

Cllr Ash Cartman, executive member for finance and performance, said: “As we reflect on a challenging year, it’s important we think about the ways that we have adapted to continue our essential support to the local community.

“It has been inspiring to see the continued determination of individuals to deliver vital council services and highlighted the need to build on this momentum, so that we can remain resilient and adaptable, serving our communities into the future.

“This means taking stock of the ways we work and the sites we own, with an eye on how we can make the best use of them for years to come. This could mean making investments that modernise old facilities, but it could also mean developing sites we no longer need so that they better address local priorities.

“The asset, accommodation and development strategies provide a framework to help start this work, with potential to unlock tens of millions of pounds for local investment, enabling the council to keep modernising and delivering, whatever the future holds.”

The accommodation, asset and development strategies are subject to consultation, which will further develop proposals and inform recommendations for the council’s next capital strategy in October 2021.

Among possible projects enabled by the adoption of these strategies is development of the council’s Castlewood office in Clevedon. If taken forward, the proposals would respond to new, agile ways of working adopted over the past year, modernising the Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare into a shared collaboration space that better suits increased homeworking. This would unlock the Castlewood site so that it can be redeveloped to serve the community in new ways, providing much needed affordable homes, business space, or both.