Today the Salford Star can reveal that Salford Council has been forking out over £2million for empty offices at One New Bailey, while proposing to close The Grange, the city's only residential home for disabled children to save an estimated £300,000.
Last December, Salford City Council made a payment of £686,625 to the Legal and General Pension Fund for 'rent' which we kind of guessed was to underwrite leases at One New Bailey, the shiny new office block near Salford Central Station (see here). The block currently has two empty floors which it has failed to rent out.
After a Freedom of Information response, the Council has now confirmed that this £686,625 payment was just "the quarterly rent (inclusive of VAT) for offices at One New Bailey for the period 25th December 2016 to the 24th March 2017".
Other rental payments to Legal and General Pension Fund for the same amount were also made in July 2016 and September 2016, making a grand total, so far, of £2,059,875. Plus a further payment of £40,096 for insurance.
One New Bailey, according to its website, is "owned and funded by Legal and General". The Legal and General Pension Property Fund in January boasted assets of £836.5million (see here).*
Last month the Council agreed proposals to shut The Grange, to save £300,000, citing a lack of finance, despite ongoing protests and a campaign to keep it open (see previous Salford Star articles – click here and click here)**.
Residents might want to ask why Salford City Council is picking up the bill for the deserted, privately owned offices, which has so far cost over £2million of public money while cuts are being made to public services.
* The Legal and General is the major partner in the English Cities Fund (ECf) which is developing New Bailey and Chapel Street. For more information see previous Salford Star article - Not A Penny Given Back To The Community From ECf Redevelopment - click here
** To sign the petition to Save The Grange - click here
See also previous Salford Star article - Homeless Plight in the Midst of £650million Developments - click here