WOKINGHAM Borough Council will be borrowing £100 million to buy private and commercial property. 

The council is borrowing the money with the intention of developing on its own land and asset, after investing in the private land. 

Cllr Oliver Whittle, executive member for finance, said: “Like councils up and down the country we are seeing reductions in central government funding resulting in ever widening gaps and growing pressures on our services.

“We need to look to innovative ways of generating revenue so we can continue providing essential services such as care for the elderly and young, waste collections and road maintenance.

“Investing in property is one way of doing this and would deliver more returns for the taxpayer than are currently available from bank returns.

“We can also look at the wider benefits for the community, such as housing needs, when investing in our own land.”

The council will be putting an investment protocol in place to ensure every potential risk s assessed before purchasing property.

Cllr Stuart Munro said: “Despite responding well to funding cuts we still need to find reductions of £20 million over the next three years and there are only so many cuts this council can take.

“Therefore it is essential we explore all ways of raising our own funds to make up for the shortfall from government.

“Any net yield achieved from property investment will provide a direct profit to the council and be made available to help and serve the people of this borough.”