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The One Public Estate programme began as a pilot in 2013. It is intended to encourage local councils to work with central government and other public sector organisations to share buildings and re-use or release surplus property and land. It may lead to land and buildings being sold, shared, repurposed, or used for income generation. It is being jointly delivered by the Cabinet Office’s Government Property Unit and the Local Government Association.

The programme was launched in May 2013, with twelve participating councils. A further twenty councils joined the programme in August 2014. Further councils have joined in several tranches, such that over 300 (95% of English local authorities) now participate.

An announcement in February 2019 of the seventh phase of the programme stated that “So far, the programme has saved taxpayers £24 million in running costs, created 5,745 new jobs and released land for the development of 3,336 new homes.” The seventh phase includes “plans for public-sector land to be developed which aim to bring forward 10,000 new homes, 14,000 new jobs and save taxpayers £37million in running costs”.

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