Horsham District Council has purchased The Forum, in Horsham. This gives it control of a key strategic site in the town centre, directly between Sainsbury’s food store and West Street.
The £15m investment is in a total of 76,625 sq ft of accommodation currently let to four tenants: Dunelm, TK Maxx, Blacks and Benson for Beds. As part of the deal, the council will also acquire ownership of the 472 space Blackhorse Way car park for which it currently pays rent.
The Forum investment will be added to the council’s existing commercial property portfolio which has over the years helped fund council services and currently includes assets that generate £3.1m of income per year. This new purchase will further boost that income to support the cost of providing services such as waste and recycling which alone costs just under £3 million a year to provide. It also helps ensure that money will continue to be available for other services the district council provides, such as housing, parks & countryside, planning, environmental services and leisure activities, including swimming pools and leisure centres.
Councillors gave the go-ahead to purchase the site from clients of Aviva Investors at a Council meeting on 5 July, but the matter could not be made public for commercially confidentiality reasons until legal completion on Monday 31 July, 2017.