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Uttlesford District Council in running for award after investment in Chesterford Research Park

Chesterford Research Park (9083644)
Chesterford Research Park (9083644)

Uttlesford District Council's (UDC) entrepreneurial activities have been short-listed for two major local government awards.

The authority is a finalist in the Best Commercial Council category and in the Innovation in Finance category of the MJ Local Government Achievement Awards.

Both relate to the council's investment in, and work with, Chesterford Research Park. It bought a 50% share in the site in 2017 for £45m and has continued to invest in and extend its property portfolio as a way of bridging the income gap between the cost of council services and diminishing Government grants. It is hoped that within five years the annual yield will be 6.3%.

The 250-acre park is home both to established and early-stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical research and development companies including AstraZeneca, Arecor, Charles River Laboratories and Domainex.

The Best Commercial Council category recognises innovative use of council services and/or assets in new commercial arrangements, while Innovation in Finance recognises innovation in securing finance for major projects that deliver good outcomes and value for money for the residents of the district.

The MJ is the country's leading publication for local government and launched the annual achievement awards in 2004 to recognise the best local government services and personnel.

A team of officers from Uttlesford will attend two sessions to present the work and answer questions from a panel of judges of influential commentators from the private and public sectors.

East Herts Council is also in the running for an award for best senior leadership team. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in June.

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