Mar 28 2007
by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo
PRIVATE firms could take over the running of council assets to help generate money to fund Capital of Culture.
Town hall finance director Phil Halsall suggests making “better use of existing assets” is one way of bringing in more than £22m still needed to pay for 2008.
He mentions Colomendy’s transfer to a private company and rent generated by land leased to the Liverpool One shopping district as examples of how the council is already doing this.
But Mr Halsall today told the ECHO money saved by Colomendy’s handover would not go directly towards 2008.
The council is currently investigating various ways to find its £22m contribution to Capital of Culture. No final decision will be made until June.
And the council is still likely to choose a combination of four options revealed by the ECHO earlier this month, including increased sponsorship and financial support from the government.
The options are part of a financial plan which sets out the council’s spending priorities for the next few years.
It will be discussed by councillors on Friday.
Although the Capital of Culture funding gap is mentioned, the report does not set out a solution.
Mr Halsall says: “The council is most likely to need a combination of all of these approaches and therefore all are being actively pursued.”
The council has frequently come under fire recently for not setting out exactly how it will pay for 2008.