Council Acquire Wilkinson's Building


South Somerset District Council (SSDC) is delighted to confirm its decision to acquire the Wilkos building in Middle Street, Yeovil.


This is the second investment decision following on from the purchase of the M&S Yeovil building in September, as part of the Council’s new Commercial Strategy.


The acquisition of Wilkos has now been concluded and will provide additional strong income to the Council for the future.  It will help to protect the provision of core services to our residents and communities.


SSDC adopted a Commercial Strategy in August this year and is once again demonstrating its commercial focus to enable the Council to grow its income, become more business-like and to help it focus on reaching its investment, regeneration and economic development objectives and grow into the future. 


The Council is taking this approach following significant cuts to the public sector in Government grants and central funding since 2010.


As well as finding significant internal efficiency savings, the Council is committed to protecting services as far as possible and meeting its ambitions to improve life in South Somerset by being more commercial in its approach and making investments that will deliver valuable income.


South Somerset District Council is committed to investing in the town centres of South Somerset and this second investment purchase demonstrates this commitment.  Wilkos is another substantial employer in the town centre and anchor tenant for Middle Street. The Council is looking forward to working with them into the future, as plans for the wider town centre are developed under the Yeovil Refresh.


Leader of South Somerset District Council, said: “The Council continues to act in accordance with its Commercial Strategy, with another investment acquisition in Yeovil. This is all about creating new income streams to protect services and enable us to continue to deliver on our ambitions for South Somerset. The aim as our strategy is implemented, is to develop a broad and balanced portfolio of investments. The alternative to this approach was to cut services that the public tell us they both need and want and that was never an option we were going to seriously consider without trying sensible but challenging alternatives.  We believe that our residents would want us to take this initiative in the face of massive cuts in funding from central government.  Whilst becoming more commercial, we remain focussed on our primary role of delivering high quality services for everyone in our communities.  This latest acquisition will contribute towards meeting that aim of maintaining critical public services into the future.”


Councillor Henry Hobhouse, the Portfolio Holder for Property and Income Generation, added:  “As a council we are now well on our way to commercially delivering the income targets and investment we need to sustain and grow the services needed for our communities within our strategy.  We are operating in a commercial manner, utilising appropriate expertise and skills to ensure the sound utilisation of public funds.  We intend to continue to do this to grow our economy, regenerate our towns and become more self-sufficient as a District Council.  In doing so, we will achieve our overall goal of providing services to and meeting the needs of South Somerset communities.”

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