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Kent Councils make £102m by selling assests including libraries and community centres

By Nicola Everett

The sale of land and public assets like libraries and community centres has made councils across Kent at least £102m over the last four years.

A total of 342 sites, including parks, youth centres and libraries have been sold off by local authorities and the county council since 2014.

Research by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism shows the amount made ranges from just £1 in one part of the county to almost £37m in another.

Harry Peet talks to local councillors and the owner of a youth centre about the sales

Not all councils provided information for the last four years, with some only providing information as far as 2016.

Between 2014 and 2018 Dartford alone made £36,963,726 through the sale of just 11 sites in the area.

Nine of those were plots were within The Bridge business park, the most expensive of which went for £7,957,450.

The data also reveals Kent County Council has sold off 112 sites since 2014 making them £33,387,625.

The amount made by each council by selling off land (7642120)
The amount made by each council by selling off land (7642120)

The most cash was gained from the sale of land at Spires Academy on Bredlands Lane in Canterbury which went for £3,100,000 in June 2017.

Earlier that year the authority sold the site of the old Buckland Hospital in Dover for £1,450,000.

The area is due to be used for housing while a new hospital has been built on adjacent land on the same road.

Sheerness Youth Centre, Broadway was sold by KCC in 2015 for £93,000.

Land at Spires Academy on Bredlands Lane in Canterbury was sold for £3,100,000
Land at Spires Academy on Bredlands Lane in Canterbury was sold for £3,100,000

It was bought by a group of volunteers who didn't want it to close

Ray Featherstone is a youth worker there: "It was sad they had to make the decision, the same as a lot of local authorities, to cut the budgets of youth service and we were one of the victims of that.

"I just couldn't see this club shut down with all the work we'd done.

"We asked if we could use development money to purchase the building off KCC and they agreed and that's really quite a success story."

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