Kingston Council has been awarded £210,000 by the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association.
The funds will allow the council to explore how the Guildhall site could potentially deliver new homes and create jobs for the borough, as well as look at key worker accommodation for Kingston Hospital staff.
A total of £8.7m has been allocated to councils through the latest phase of the One Public Estate fund which is aimed at improving public services, stimulating economic growth and freeing up land for new homes. Local authorities who are successful in receiving the funding are provided practical support and expertise to help develop and deliver ambitious property programmes to benefit their communities.
The funding will be provided for the 2017/18 financial year. It is expected that by 2020, the different council partnerships on the programme will deliver a total of £615m in capital receipts, £158m running costs savings, create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 new homes.
Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said: “This funding will support the council’s ambition to better use publicly-owned land and buildings to enable us to create much needed homes and jobs in Kingston. Working with our partners, together we can make greater efficiencies that will benefit the borough for the future.”
Caroline Nokes, the Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, said: “When I launched this application round in August I hoped that new funding and the obvious benefits of the programme would grab the attention of councils and boost the numbers getting involved. I’m delighted to see that we now have over 90% of councils on board, up from around three quarters previously. People in many more communities will feel the benefits of new housing, better public services and efficiency as a result.”
Cllr Nick Forbes, Senior Vice Chair of the LGA, said: “Councils play a crucial role in their communities. With the right funding and support they can help transform them and ensure that they are enjoyable and prosperous places to live. One Public Estate is a good example of providing coordinated backing for councils and I am glad that so many of them are taking part in this important initiative. I look forward to this programme’s results.”