UDC statement

Uttlesford District Council would like to clarify information that is circulating in relation to one of its investments.

The council's investment is in land and a new building on a site that is outside of the district. Whilst the details of the investment remain commercially sensitive, and therefore confidential, at this time, the council can confirm that the tenant is a well-established engineering and manufacturing company that provides valves, hydraulics parts and control systems for a wide variety of sectors including power/energy generation, aerospace and defence. The company's use of the new building, which will be owned by the council, will be as a global facility for research, development and manufacturing, specifically for the aircraft control components sector.

Like all of the council's investments, this investment has been through a robust process of due diligence and governance. It was considered by the cross-party Investment Board and approved by Full Council following a wide-ranging debate that took into account the full range of issues.

The purpose of this investment is to generate income for the council in order for it to underpin core services that it provides for the community. It forms part of a £300m commercial property asset portfolio, further details of which can be found in the Commercial Strategy.

Cllr Neil Reeve, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Investment and Corporate Strategy, said: "The council's property purchases fund important services and initiatives across the district. These include the climate crisis agenda and Covid high street and business recovery programmes. These programmes would be unaffordable without the income from the council's commercial property portfolio.

"Commercial purchases are made using fixed rate loans which the council takes out. The loans are then repaid from the rent paid by the tenant. Uttlesford Council taxpayers do not directly fund such purchases."

2 March 2021