A CASH-DRAINED council is “to progress” towards selling off a Thunderbirds-themed hotel in Slough to help plug its financial woes.

Senior councillors were told officers are preparing to sell off the double-decker Moxy Hotel in Slough town centre.

Slough Borough Council declared bankruptcy last year and needs to sell up to £600m of its properties and land in order to reduce its £760m borrowing debt and £479m blackhole.

The 152-room Thunderbirds-themed hotel that honours the show’s creator Gerry Anderson, as a movie filmed in the Slough Trading Estate in the 1960s, opened last year during the pandemic.

It was developed and owned by the local authority and delivered via Slough Urban Renewal, a property partnership between the council and Morgan Sindall.

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Councillors sitting on Thursday’s cabinet sub-committee for asset disposals heard “most of the legal stuff” to sell the hotel is done. It is unknown if the neighbouring Novus Apartments, which consists of 64 flats and is also owned by the council, will go to auction as well.

Elsewhere, members heard the council has received an offer for the bus warehouse behind the railway station – not the bus station that was involved in a fire a few weeks ago – but didn’t say how much the bid was.

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A number of small properties are to go on auction sometime in the New Year. Again, members were not told which sites.

The 312-home site at the end of Grand Union Canal – known as Stoke Wharf – is still progressing for the sale but the council is finding it trickier to seal the deal as the Canal and Rivers Trust still needs to obtain permission from the Charity Commission to sell their stake in the scheme.

The “final bits and pieces” to sell off the former Akzo Nobel site, which was earmarked for 1,000 homes, still need to be resolved but are “progressing well”.

The four out-of-borough assets, such as a warehouse in Bradford, have been either sold off or a transaction will be made in the coming days.

Council leader James Swindlehurst (Lab: Cippenham Green) said these sales could generate £150m by mid-next year, which is a “significant over delivery” in their budget requirements.

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He said: “We still got the desire to bring our debt down overall and get slap down in the middle of the local authority herd [£280m) but it serves the capitalisation of £370m and we would have transacted a third of that early next year and with little impact.

“That’s the main thing because the nervousness when we had a capitalisation requirement was that it could eat significantly in operational assets and some very difficult decisions.

“Whereas, actually, it looks like we will get further through this before we have to be in that tougher environment.”