A map showing 180,000 publicly owned property assets has been published by the government in a move that could prompt widespread sales to the private sector
The map shows assets owned by nearly 600 public sector organisations, including 87 councils. Communities secretary Eric Pickles wants all public sector bodies to publish lists of assets.
Pickles said that the information can be used by local people to make sure local assets are protected. But many of the assets are likely to be sold, creating opportunities for developers and architects.
The government has already published plans to sell off assets to reduce the deficit and provide land to the private sector in a bid to encourage growth. A 2010 report estimated that £20 billion could be raised by sales from the central government estate.
Pickles said: ‘We need to know, now more than ever, exactly what assets are publicly owned. The general public probably have no idea of the sheer scale and scope of property and land on the public sector’s books. In many cases it goes way beyond traditional frontline services.
‘I want the public sector to take a good hard look at what it owns. By cataloguing each and every asset councils can help the government find innovative new ways to utilise them, improve local services, keep council running costs down and save taxpayer’s money.’
View the map here