Government sells off properties that were unused
THE Government has sold off six properties in the Bristol area as part of its drive to save money and cut spending.
A unit was set up in Bristol to look at ways of selling off property that was no longer being used by public bodies. Yesterday it announced that it had raised almost £140 million in the South West, as part of a £1 billion countrywide property auction.
The properties that have been sold in the Bristol area include a house in Greystoke Avenue, Southmead, a house in Crossways Road, Knowle, land in Station Yard, Chipping Sodbury, land next to Turnpike House in Thornbury, land in Oldbury- on-Severn and land in Little Green Lane at Severn Beach.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "It is remarkable that the Government was paying for property that it just wasn't using.
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"In the past Government took out expensive leases at the taxpayers' expense on new properties, even though freehold space was underused or even empty. Our strategy is to get out of expensive leases and concentrate on the properties we actually own.
"The £1 billion we have saved the taxpayer represents £60 for every working family."
Work on the sales was centrally coordinated by the Government Property Unit and civil servants from across government departments to ensure the best deal for the taxpayer.
In the coming months more work is being carried out on rationalising property currently used by government offices.
Buildings that can be shared by staff from various departments and public sector bodies will be trialled, and in Bristol new offices are opening in Temple Quay House.