Contingency funds used to plug £0.285m income gap from Castle Quay


Units taking longer to let, empty unit business rates and service charge costs are blamed

Cherwell District Council’s Executive last night agreed to use £285,000 of money held in a contingency fund to plug a gap in income from the Castle Quay Shopping Centre.

The deficit relates to the 2023-24 financial year.

The Council says that reasons for the financial shortfall include some units taking longer to let, increased additional costs for empty business rates and service charge costs of vacant units.

A spokesperson told Banbury FM: “These factors are similarly impacting other shopping centres and towns nationally.   In the meantime, we continue to manage the situation and have carried out improvements to Lock 29, have units under offer and are undertaking marketing of the centre and the opportunity it offers as part of our regeneration programme.”

The loss was noted in an end of year Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report.   Councillors agreed to a recommendation: “To approve the use of £0.285m of the Commercial Risk element of Policy Contingency to mitigate the delay in forecast lettings for some properties within 2023/24”.

The meeting was the first Executive meeting of the new Liberal Democrat led alliance.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

Reader's opinions
  1. Toby Low   On   11/06/2024 at 3:50 pm

    The council’s decision to buy Castle Quay was mad in the first place – and flew in the face of the advice of their senior property advisor. The fund that owned it was desperate to flog it and could not believe their luck that a bunch of naive councillors would actually take it off their hands. The fact that Debenhams (RIP) BHS (RIP), GAP (RIP) and M&S have left means that this is a total white elephant. Take a walk around – it is a ghost town and the council have just wasted our money – again.

  2. Woodworth Sandra   On   11/06/2024 at 4:25 pm

    Well said. I wonder if the shortfall could be anything to do with the building of the Gateway??? Er?.?

  3. Stephen Rainsbury   On   11/06/2024 at 5:33 pm

    it is the same in other similar sized towns, time has moved on, we don’t need high streets or precincts like this anymore.
    We are paying for the past, but will be living in the future.

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