90 per cent of councils are now part of One Public Estate programme

The new funding, allocated from the One Public Estate (OPE) programme, will see 56 council-led partnerships receiving £8.7m funding to improve public services, stimulate economic growth and free up land for thousands of new homes.

The OPE programme is a national initiative delivered in partnership by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit (GPU). Beginning in 2013 with just twelve areas, it now works with more than 250 councils on local community and public services projects.

The programme gives partnerships the support and funding to help them to use publicly-owned land and buildings more efficiently, benefiting communities across the country.

Alongside the £8.7m in finding, OPE is giving local authorities – and their public sector partners – practical support and expertise, to help them develop and deliver ambitious property programmes to benefit their communities.

By 2020, partnerships on the programme are expected to deliver £615m in capital receipts, £158m running costs savings, create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 new homes.

Caroline Nokes, the Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, said: “When I launched this application round in August I hoped that new funding and the obvious benefits of the programme would grab the attention of councils and boost the numbers getting involved. I’m delighted to see that we now have over 90 per cent of councils on board, up from around three quarters previously. People in many more communities will feel the benefits of new housing, better public services and efficiency as a result.”

Cllr Nick Forbes, Senior Vice Chair of the LGA, said: “Councils play a crucial role in their communities.  With the right funding and support they can help transform them and ensure that they are enjoyable and prosperous places to live.  One Public Estate is a good example of providing coordinated backing for councils and I am glad that so many of them are taking part in this important initiative. I look forward to this programme’s results.”

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