Councillors gave the green light last month to secure a 40-year lease on Croxley Park to ensure the future of local jobs and helps secure the council’s long-term finances
At the end of this time, the council will have the option to buy the freehold of the Park from current owners Columbia Threadneedle Investments (CTi) for a nominal £10.
The 189,000 sq. ft. industrial estate currently homes around 60 businesses and 2,500 jobs. The council will receive all the rental income from the businesses in the Park for a payment to CTi of £9.2million per year.
In addition, it will receive an £88million up-front payment from CTi to cover ongoing costs of the site, such as for planned and preventative maintenance. The council will generate a net income benefit of around £1.5million per year, which will be used to support important local services.
Championing the investment proposal, Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: “This is an excellent deal for local council taxpayers as it provides a good, long-term income for the council. At a time when we have seen a 70 per cent reduction in the money we get from central government, many councils simply cannot balance the books.
“This isn’t a situation I want Watford to be in. This deal secures £1.5million of additional income a year for the council, which will not only protect our frontline services but allow us to continue to invest in improvements to our parks, leisure centres and street cleaning.
“This wasn’t a decision taken lightly by the council and we have taken thorough, independent advice from experts in their fields. This helps support jobs in our town and means that we can continue to invest in the things that matter most to local people.”
This acquisition has been seen by the council as a major contribution to supporting the local economy and protecting the current jobs at the park whilst also providing Watford and the surrounding area with additional office space.