Norfolk County Council to lend £3m to company it owns, so that company can buy Hethel Engineering Centre from the council

PUBLISHED: 17:29 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 19:21 27 March 2018

Hethel Engineering Centre. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Hethel Engineering Centre. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

An unusual move will see Norfolk County Council lend £3m to a company which it owns - so that company can buy the authority's freehold interest in Hethel Engineering Centre.

Hethel Innovation Ltd (HIL) was set up by the council in 2012 to manage Hethel Engineering Centre. At the moment half is owned by the council and half by HIL.

HIL manages the centre and retains all the rent from the companies based there to use for operating and maintaining the centre.

But the council has decided to sell its interest to HIL for £3m and will loan the money for HIL to purchase it.

The council says that will generate a capital receipt for the council and the interest on the £3m loan will provide a revenue stream for the council to use to support front-line services.

It will also mean the council can “avoid any further contingent liabilities associated with holding the freehold and leasehold assets”.

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