Edinburgh’s commercial property strategy generates £15m

Edinburgh's commercial property strategy generates £15m

East Hermiston Business Park (credit: Clark Contracts)

A recently updated report has revealed that the City of Edinburgh Council’s investment in commercial property is bolstering local businesses while generating over £15 million annually for crucial public services.

The council’s revamped Commercial Property Strategy, approved by the Finance and Resources Committee this week, aims to support existing and new enterprises throughout the capital.

With a portfolio of 949 properties valued at approximately £245m, the council has emerged as the largest landlord of commercial property in Edinburgh. The income generated from this portfolio has enabled the council to reinvest in frontline services and profit from property sales, contributing to budget savings. The strategy also supports a number of grassroots and community-based clubs and organisations with low-cost lease arrangements.

Under the refreshed plan, the council will focus on optimising income growth from its properties and prioritising support for start-ups, all the while upholding the Capital’s ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2030. A shift in the strategy will see funds from property sales reinvested back into the portfolio to enhance the council’s asset utilisation.

Part of this revised strategy involves building a new, sustainable business park at the council-owned Peffermill location, modelled after the successful East Hermiston Park. Launched in 2018, East Hermiston Park now houses 16 fully leased units within a 1,600 sq m modern industrial space, generating an annual income of £185,000.

Councillor Mandy Watt, Finance and Resources convener, said: “I’m pleased that the refreshed strategy has received Committee’s approval and that we’ll be able to improve on the £15m of income already raised from the council’s property portfolio.

“The opportunities available to support even more jobs at the new low carbon business park in Peffermill are exciting, and I’m looking forward to plans being brought forward later in the year.”

Ms Watt continued: “Over the last year, the council has used its properties to support the economic success of the city post-Covid and helped budding businesses to thrive, in ways that maximise income for delivering Council services. The results speak for themselves and we’ve seen first-hand the benefits business parks like the existing one at East Hermiston can bring.

“Against a backdrop of reduced government funding, we’ve had to think creatively to make the most of any income that we can raise for council services. This property strategy is a good example of that.”

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