More council assets put up for sale
Northumberland County Council has put more buildings on the market this week, including several vacant north Northumberland schools, as it continues to sell off unwanted assets.
In June, the Advertiser reported that the Wallace Green offices, the Sandstell Road car park in Spittal and Cemetery and Tweedmouth lodges on Cemetery Lane had all been deemed surplus to requirement and were up for sale.
Now, the council is trying to offload Milfield, Cornhill and Wooler First Schools, which are empty after the first two were closed and the latter moved onto the Glendale Middle School site on Brewery Road.
Two proposals for the future of the Wooler First School site – a community-led housing scheme and a crematorium – were discussed at Monday night’s meeting of Wooler Parish Council – see Page 28.
The sales mark the latest phase in the council’s plans to generate more than £33million in capital income, contribute significantly to economic growth and regeneration and make annual savings in running costs of £3.4million by selling off surplus buildings and ensuring all its remaining properties are fit for purpose, as it moves towards the delivery of co-located services in market towns.
Council leader Grant Davey said: “Across Northumberland we are committed to making great places even better.
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“Investing in our market towns is key to regenerating the county.
“We’ve already had a lot of positive interest in the properties which went to market testing last month and we’re confident these other sites will also prove popular.
“It goes without saying if any parish or town councils may be interested in buying any of these properties or land parcels we would be interested in hearing from them.”
Coun Davey added: “Given the scale of the Government cuts we are facing – a further £58million over the next four years – our market towns initiative, including the rationalisation of our estate, is vital to generate savings to protect frontline services and make it easier for residents to access key frontline services in their local area by providing them under one roof.”
In making any decisions about the sale of the buildings and land, the council will consider the proposed use of the land and the value which would be reinvested in the market towns and used to protect front-line services.