Property worth millions of pounds could be sold off in a council bid to stave off bankruptcy.

Plans at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead say the selloffs are ‘critical’ to rescuing the council – after it warned it was close to bankruptcy last September.

The plans say: “Since October 2023, the council’s finances have significantly worsened which makes a programme of asset sales to reduce borrowing and improve the revenue position even more critical.”

Partially developed land and 13 buildings on Reform Road in Maidenhead are among the assets earmarked for sale in plans being considered by council leaders.

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They include Clyde House, the Project Centre and car park and the site of the demolished Waldeck House.

Council officers believe the Royal Borough could earn more than £10 million from the sales while costs – such as due diligence reports and marketing fees – would come to £400,000.

In contrast they say that if the council didn’t sell Clyde House and the Project Centre it would need to borrow money to bring them up to usable standards. And they say the income the council might get from the redeveloped buildings would not be enough to cover the cost of the debt.

The plans say: “This means that if the Reform Road assets are not sold, not only will the council forego a significant capital receipt to help stabilise its finances, but it will also effectively be committing to investing more capital into the site.”

The Royal Borough agreed to demolish Waldeck House in June 2023. The plans say this is because it was ‘beyond economic repair.’

Now the new plans say Clyde House and the Project Centre are also ‘at the end of their economic life.’ They say that if would cost a minimum of £3 million to refurbish Clyde House so that it can be put on the market – and that this ‘does not represent any value for money.’

Council plans admit that selling the sites means it would lose the £184,000 a year it earns from ground lease income from the properties. But they argue that without spending money on improving the buildings, their value wouldn’t grow and the council’s income would fall.

They also acknowledge that there is a risk that it might not be able to sell the properties. They say that not selling the properties would mean having to spend money to maintain them – all while they remain vacant or underused.

The Royal Borough’s cabinet – its leading group of councillors – is set to formally approve the selloff plans at a meeting on Wednesday, May 22.