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Kal Vaughan
Kal Vaughan
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 07th February 2013

Birmingham City Council to release £200m of property assets

Birmingham City Council are considering selling off major property assets totalling £200m, in a bid to settle the £757m of debt it owes following a string of highly publicised equal pay cases, according to a report in the Birmingham Post.

The council lost its court appeal, against 174 former Birmingham City Council workers, with compensation claims over missed bonuses and lower pay over six years running up reimbursement claims worth a staggering £757m.

In a bid to raise capital, the City Council are looking to release shares from the NEC Group -a British company that owns and operates four venues in Birmingham – and has already been allowed to borrow £429m, with a further loan of £100m expected to be secured by government secretary, Eric Pickles.

It leaves a shortfall of £228m, which the City Council proposes to raise by selling property assets in unused office buildings estimated to be worth £200m.

The council’s portfolio is the largest in Birmingham, with major properties such as the Town Hall, and an extensive collection of assets in the Jewellery Quarter, shopping parades, schools and parks said to worth several billion pounds.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council has been clear about the major challenge presented by the scale of its actual and potential Equal Pay settlements.

“We have been in extensive discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) about how we will fund future payments, and they are putting in place three measures to assist us in this.”

“Taken together, it is expected that these measures will allow the council to fund its Equal Pay payments for this and next year, and we are working on our longer term funding strategy, again in dialogue with the DCLG.”