Uttlesford District Council purchase 50% share in Park

Local authority invests in prestigious development to become joint owners alongside Aviva Investors.

Uttlesford District Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with Aviva Investors following the purchase of a 50 per cent share in Chesterford Research Park.

The £45 million acquisition, which will see the council become joint owners of the Park alongside Aviva Investors, forms part of the council’s long-term plan to realise a portfolio of commercial investments, within the district, capable of generating stable income into the future.

As funding from central government diminishes, Uttlesford, like other councils across the UK, is seeking alternative routes through which to generate long-term income in order to continue to provide value for money services to residents, businesses and communities, as well as decrease its reliance on central funding.

As one of the most prestigious commercial assets in the district, Chesterford Research Park offers both an immediate stable income stream as well as growth potential.

To fund the project, the council is using its own reserves along with a mix of loans from other local authorities, the government and private funders. The arrangement will generate an initial yield of 5.6 per cent per annum for the council rising to 6.3 per cent by year five.

This follows a lengthy and robust process of due diligence by the internationally renowned commercial agents Cushman and Wakefield and the international law firm Hogan Lovells.

The council’s interests at Chesterford will be represented and managed by Aspire (CRP) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Uttlesford District Council set up to manage this latest investment. A newly formed board of representatives from Aviva Investors and Aspire (CRP) Ltd will meet quarterly to report on current activity and future development plans. Aviva Investors will retain the asset management role at the Park. CBRE acted for Aviva Investors in the 50% sale of the Park to Uttlesford District Council.

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