Council to borrow £46million to keep unnamed business in Rother

Rother council leaders have signed off on plans to borrow £46m as part of a deal to keep a major business in the district. 

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 3:25 pm
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-161205-111335001

The borrowing was agreed by the council’s cabinet during a confidential discussion at a meeting last month (Monday, August 17).

According to minutes for the meeting, council leaders agreed to borrow up to £46m to acquire an unnamed site, where new offices for the business would be built. The council would fund construction of the new building as well as the business’ relocation costs, papers say.

The identity of the company was not revealed in the public version of the meeting papers.

When approached for comment, a Rother District Council spokesman said: “We are bound under a confidentiality agreement until all legal agreements are signed, so are not able to give any more information than what was included in the public minutes.”

The minutes read: “Members considered the confidential report of the executive director that gave details of a potential commercial property opportunity. 

“The Property Investment Panel (PIP) had met on July 28 to consider the outcome of a competitive process to keep a private sector business in Rother. 

“It was confirmed that the council had secured retaining the business in the district of Rother dependent on Rother District Council (RDC) acting as the funder to a relocation scheme and eventual landlord.”

According to the minutes, the council would only act as the funder for the project and would not be involved in managing the building project. It would own the building with the business as its tenant. 

According to the council, the scheme “would see an increase in overall income for RDC and improve the long-term sustainability of RDC.”

Cabinet members also granted delegated authority to officers to agree and enter into the contracts “necessary to ensure the completion of the project.” This includes the purchase of the site, a development funding agreement and an eventual lease.

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