City council close to naming property partner

Manchester City Council is expected to announce an outsourcing partner for its £5m property services contract later this month.

The council is close to selecting a property management firm to take over its property department, led by Helen Jones, following a tender process which began in September.

An initial five-year deal will cover estates management, valuation, disposals and acquisitions but does not affect ownership of assets.

The move is part of the council's Manchester Improvement Programme launched in 2006, aimed at finding revenue savings of £15.4m in 2007/8, followed by £22.6m in 2008/9 and £22.8m in 2009/10.

The new arrangement is due to be in place by May. Turner & Townsend is advising the council.

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