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Great opportunities for Torbay’s entrepreneurial spirit

8th December 2017

Categories: Latest News

The two biggest costs for any business are staff and property. 

As an estates and asset manager, I am tasked with ensuring the costs of occupying property are kept as low as possible. Having a proactive approach to asset management is essential.  Adopting initiatives that can lead to efficiency gains and savings from rationalisation or by generating capital receipts and income are key to a long term use and sustainability of a property portfolio.

In recent years, I have found a popular term used in estates and property management is ‘sweating the asset’ – maximising the return out of an asset.  Commercial property, whether owned or leased, has fixed costs. These costs can include rent and operating costs, business rates and repairs and maintenance. To help offset these costs it is essential one extracts the most value out of an asset as possible. 

I have often found that an asset has a predominant use, for example a park.  This will have play equipment, seating, shelters and large grassed areas.  All of these elements need managing and comes at a cost.  However, by permitting a meanwhile use maybe through the summer months, of say, a mobile catering concession will generate some additional income, provide a service to visitors using the park and provide an income for someone with some entrepreneurial spirit. A simple question I ask regularly when reviewing the assets that I manage is to ask ‘what more can I do to get the most out of this asset?’

TDA, as a property agent for local authorities across the South West, drafts the annual Asset Management Plan for Torbay Council, who as a Unitary Authority holds a substantial land and property portfolio. A large proportion of Councils' assets produce a minimal level of income but has a relatively high holding cost. A key theme for the Asset Management Plan is ensuring the Council’s assets are used creatively to help stimulate the growth of jobs and income.

My colleagues and I have, for the second year running, produced a significant list of over 28 concessions and opportunities across the Bay that it is hoped should produce an additional income for the Council that will help to offset some of the holding costs.  It is the intention that successful bidders will be ready for occupation by Easter 2018. 

The concessions available are a diverse range of unique opportunities across Brixham, Paignton and Torquay including some unusual sites such as the Spanish Shelter, Goodrington and Torquay Recreation Ground Entrance gate houses.

In addition to this, there are opportunities such as, boating and floating rights, power boat concessions, mobile catering and ice cream concessions, stores, shelters, kiosks, trampoline and leisure sites and mobile car cleaning sites.  Making these new sites available for tender is an exciting opportunity for Torbay’s residents and businesses.  The list is not however exhaustive and I would welcome suggestions of other ideas that could be realised on Council owned land.

To find out more about these unique sites and to see the list of concessions available visit Rightmove Commercial, call the TDA Estates Team on 01803 367117 or email

Paul Palmer, TDA Estates Manager, can be contacted at

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