BASINGSTOKE council has said it currently has 'no plans' to buy the town's Odeon cinema after its debt-ridden owners agreed to sell it off.

As previously reported, on Monday (June 20) senior councillors at Slough Borough Council agreed on a plan to “speed up” the selling of it its £600m-worth of assets to reduce its £760m borrowing debt and £479m blackhole.

The four out-of-borough assets, including the Odeon Cinema in Basingstoke, which was bought as a revenue generator, are among the first wave of properties to go.

READ MORE: Slough councillors approve plan to sell Odeon in Basingstoke

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC), which owns the Leisure Park land, recently held a consultation, asking residents for their views on what they would like to see there, as part of a regeneration project.

It comes after developer New River backed out of plans for a £300m redevelopment of the site last year.

The Gazette asked BDBC if it was considering purchasing the cinema once it is put up for sale, but was told that the authority has 'no plans' to do so.

Cabinet member for finance and property, Cllr John Izett, said: “We own the freehold of the Basingstoke Leisure Park land but the cinema building is leased to Slough Borough Council, with Odeon as its subtenant paying rent to Slough Borough Council.It is this lease that Slough Council is looking to sell. We are aware of this but have no plans at present to buy it in terms of the leisure park regeneration."

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke's Leisure Park scheme is 'once in a lifetime' chance

He continued: “We regularly review opportunities to invest in new property across the borough but it is important that we ensure our investments continue to give us the best return for our money and it is not always appropriate to invest in every opportunity in the borough.

“Property plays a vitally important role in funding council services and the income we receive from rents is more than double the income we receive from council tax. As part of our Property Investment Strategy, we have met our target to invest £35 million in property across the borough, generating an additional income of £2.31 million to support council services for residents.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from your area by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page.