The following press release has just been issued by Spelthorne Council:
Beating national and international competition, Spelthorne Borough Council has purchased the BP campus in Sunbury-on-Thames.
The funding given to Spelthorne Borough Council by central Government will be withdrawn completely in 2017-18, a situation which is forcing Spelthorne to find innovative ways to fund services and create new revenue streams, whilst continuing to keep a tight control on costs.
To fund the project, Spelthorne Borough Council has borrowed money at a very competitive rate of interest from the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB).
Under the terms of the agreement, BP will remain as tenants at the Sunbury site, leasing back the offices from Spelthorne Borough Council for a minimum period of 20 years. The arrangement will generate a significant income for the Council year on year.
The BP campus is the largest privately owned office park in the UK and is currently home to approximately 3,000 employees. The site comprises 11 office buildings which provide 620,000 sq ft of accommodation, with surrounding land and car parks.
The purchase was recently approved by Spelthorne Borough Council and BP and encompasses the entire campus, excluding the South West corner. The acquisition forms a key part of the Council’s strategy to develop new ways of generating long term income streams to protect its services.
Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, said: “Securing the Council’s financial stability is our highest priority and after exploring several options and taking advice from a number of independent experts, we are confident that this forward-thinking agreement represents a very sound investment for Spelthorne. It will be key in helping us to close the budget gap and protect the vital services which our residents and businesses need and deserve. We have had an excellent relationship with BP for many years and we are very pleased to be working with them on this exciting initiative.”
Peter Mather, Head of Country UK, BP, said: “For almost 100 years BP has had a significant presence at Sunbury-on-Thames. Here we have conducted research, developed leading technologies, and run our global businesses. We are pleased to commit to at least a further 20 years at the site through this new and exciting long-term relationship with Spelthorne Borough Council.”