Sainsbury’s superstore bought by Cheltenham Borough Council ‘to support the local economy’ - The authority buys site in Priors Road as it adds to its property portfolio

By Robin Jenkins Chief Cheltenham Reporter

Cheltenham Borough Council says it has bought Sainsbury’s in the town’s Priors Road “to support the local economy”.

The council said the completion took place yesterday and that the property in Oakley, Cheltenham would remain as a supermarket.

Councillor Rowena Hay (LD, Oakley), the authority’s cabinet member for finance, said: ‘’The purchase will contribute towards making the authority more financially sustainable at a time when government funding is diminishing to continue to invest in front line services and community development.

“Acquiring Sainsbury’s, together with the recent purchase of Ellenborough House, highlights the council’s commercial aspirations. Negotiations have taken almost a year and I am pleased that we are at the point of completion.

‘’This investment also demonstrates the commitment the council has in the strength of Cheltenham’s current and future economic prospects.’’

Paul Jones, the council’s executive director for finance and assets, said: “The taxpayers of Cheltenham can be assured that significant due diligence and negotiations went into this acquisition, which complements our already well balanced and diversified property investment portfolio.

‘’The net income from our property investment portfolio amounts to £1.6m per annum and is projected to rise to £1.8m by 2022/23. This source of income is critical to funding the valued services provided by the borough council to its residents and replaces the government funding that we once relied upon.”

The property comprises approximately 44,500 sq ft, 187 parking spaces and a six pump petrol station, on a four acre site.

The purpose built store, which opened in October 2006 on part of the old GCHQ Oakley site, is the only large-scale supermarket on the eastern side of Cheltenham.

Cooper Rose Real Estate acted for the vendor.