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County Council To Sell Assets To Fund New Projects

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9:23am 14th December 2012

Dorset County Council are selling up.

They are currently trying to lower the number of council owned buildings by 25%, reducing running costs by an estimated £1.5M.

There are also plans to save money by co-inhabiting some of the council's existing properties.

We spoke to Mike Harries, the Head of Property for Dorset County Council, who said that through selling properties "there would be more resources for the services rather than the buildings". In reference for their plans to co-inhabit, he also pointed out that new Dorchester Library was "a very current example of where we are sharing space"

Cllr Spencer Flower, county council cabinet member for corporate resources, said:

"Like councils up and down the country, Dorset is under huge pressure to cut costs and find savings, to help with the Government's programme for economic recovery. But it's important that we continue to put money into key local projects. Investment in education, tourism and businesses will help stimulate our economy, and put us in good shape for the future."

At the latest meeting of the council's cabinet, members supported continued investment into a range of schemes totalling £83.9 million in 2013/14 and a further £84 million in 2014/15.

The bulk of these will take places as part of the reorganisation of the Purbeck school system, including construction of new buildings for Lulworth and Winfrith School, Wool St Mary's School, Purbeck School and Sandford St Martin's School.

Other projects to benefit from the funding include:

- New buildings for Pimperne Primary School, Sturminster Newton High School and Yewstock School o infrastructure and improvement works at the North Dorset Business Park in Sturminster Newton o a new learning centre and artists' studio at Durlston Country Park, Swanage.

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