Wokingham Borough Council is the lead authority in a Berkshire public services partnership which has just been awarded £450,750 in the nationally-acclaimed One Public Estate (OPE) programme.
The Berkshire award was the biggest single grant made in the country so far, in this round of the OPE scheme, and also represents the top end of the scale of monies available for a single payment.
It means the Berkshire local authorities and partners in Thames Valley Police, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the NHS, will shape their plans under the scheme, which supports public sector organisations working together on land and property projects creating new jobs and homes, joined up and improved public services and savings for the taxpayer.
Central government has so far awarded £7.5 million to 37 partnerships consisting of councils and public sector bodies.
Launched by central government in 2013, One Public Estate now supports half of councils in England.
“It’s all about creating important initiatives that integrate public services, boost local economies and deliver cost savings for local councils and taxpayers," said Cllr Mark Ashwell, executive member for planning and regeneration at Wokingham Borough Council.
“I would like to congratulate our chief executive for leading this initiative. We‘re very proud Wokingham Borough Council has been named as the lead authority and thrilled to be now part of this exciting scheme.
"This funding for 2016/17 will help us begin to shape our plans for Berkshire and take us to the next stage. So watch this space!"
The other Berkshire councils in the county partnership for One Public Estate are Reading, West Berkshire, Bracknell Forest, Slough and The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead; as well as Thames Valley Police, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, the local NHS agencies and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Homes and Communities Agency and the Government Property Unit within the Cabinet Office are also fully engaged with the Berkshire partnership in the work.
OPE is jointly delivered by the Government Property Unit and the Local Government Association.