South Norfolk Council buys two shops in Diss for �1m

A Norfolk council has become a high street retail landlord for the first time after buying two shops in one of its market towns.

South Norfolk Council has signalled its intentions to buy more commercial property in the district after purchasing the stores in Mere Street, Diss.

Leaders at the council said the �1m investment represented a better return for tax payers than reserves sitting in bank accounts.

The local authority said the purchase of nine and 11 Mere Street, which are already occupied by national chains, would provide a boost to the high street.

The council is also looking at other property investments in the district following a cabinet decision to switch some of its reserves from bank and other savings accounts where interest rates are at an all-time low.

Leader John Fuller said the shop purchase represented a 'vote of confidence' by South Norfolk Council in its market town high streets, in preparation for the economic recovery.

'This is a smart and strategic investment to support our market towns and also helps pay for the council services our customers value, while keeping council tax affordable.'

Most Read

'The return on the investment will be much more than at the bank and it will provide reassurance to our residents and to shopkeepers in Diss that we all have a shared mutual interest in making sure Diss continues to thrive and it is a high profile investment in a high profile site in Diss.'

The two premises are currently occupied by Specsavers and Card Factory and were sold at a public auction in London yesterday.

The district council, which is currently exploring shared services arrangements with Great Yarmouth Borough Council to save money, is looking at other properties and land throughout south Norfolk with commercial investments in market towns as part of its economic strategy.

Mr Fuller added that it was important for the council to have a mix of cash, property and land investments.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter