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Council spends £8 million on Hampshire cinema to generate revenue

Slough Borough Council has bought a cinema in Hampshire for more than £8 million.

Council documents reveal the £8.34m purchase of the Odeon, in Basingstoke Leisure Park, was made in the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year.

The multi-million pound deal forms part of the council’s strategic acquisitions programme which sees money from its capital budget invested into properties both in Slough and outside the borough.

The council said it plans to reinvest money generated through rent and lease agreements into its revenue budget, which covers frontline services including adult social care and street cleaning.

A council spokeswoman said: “We have been running this programme for a few years now and it is a great contributor to our ability to manage our services budget and, despite funding cuts from central government, continue our frontline services without serious cuts that other areas have seen.”

The council’s capital budget is funded through sales of assets, borrowing and treasury management.

The spokeswoman added the council is able to borrow at ‘very low’ interest rates and income generated through rent and lease agreements is ‘far more’ than the repayments on borrowing.

Cllr Wayne Strutton, leader of the Conservative group (Haymill and Lynch Hill) said: “It’s a difficult one because I’m not opposed to the council making good investments to generate money for public services.

“My own feeling is that I would prefer these type of investments made within, if not the town, then very close by.”

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  • Katietoo

    16:04, 07 October 2019

    I'm sure Slough has done all the due diligence, but Basingstoke Council has been working on replacing the whole Leisure Park site since 2012, expected to open 2022. The plan seems to include Compulsory Purchase of existing businesses

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  • Honestjim

    12:12, 01 October 2019

    an absolute waste of money but this tinpot council. Why not invest in slough high street so local people can be employed?

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