Nottingham City Council is leading the way when it comes to generating income to help offset Government funding cuts – generating £20m a year from commercial activities.
The council has seen its main Government funding fall from £126m in 2013/14 to just £35m in 2018/19 – reducing to nothing in two years’ time.
Aside from increasing Council Tax – over half of which is the Government’s social care precept – councils are increasingly looking at other ways to raise money to safeguard services and invest in their area. The City Council has placed itself at the forefront of this, with dozens of commercial operations underway to reduce costs or raise money. These include:
- Installing solar panels on buildings and car parks
- Selling merchandise for events at the 02 Arena, Wembley Stadium and London Palladium through the council- owned National Ice Arena
- Opening nine cafes
- Collecting business waste on behalf of Derby City Council
- Growing flowers to sell to parks in Blackpool
- Increasing income from the Theatre Royal & Concert Hall
- Owning Nottingham City Transport
- Investing in property which earn rent
- Selling IT training courses to Rolls Royce and other companies.
City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “The Government has carried out savage cuts to council funding over the last seven years, putting enormous pressure on our ability to continue to fund and provide vital local services.
“As well as carrying out £232m of savings over the last seven years, we have been ahead of the game when it comes to finding new ways to bring money into the council to balance our budgets. Our commercial operations are now providing a regular £20m a year income which offsets some of the Government cuts and allows us to continue to provide services for local people.”