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Solace blog

22nd February 2018

Income Generation in Local Authorities

Grant Thornton: ‘Commercial Healthcheck’

A prolonged period of austerity has left local authorities with the difficult challenge of providing vital public services whilst dealing with severe budget cuts. As a result, we have seen a change in risk appetite within local government, with many councils starting to adopt a more commercial approach to the provision of local services.

Grant Thornton’s new thought leadership report ‘Commercial Healthcheck’ explores how the continued rise of commercialisation in local government has led to intense scrutiny of their borrowing and investment activities over the past twelve months. It also looks at how regulation on commerciality in local government is changing.

The research reveals that there are a wide range of local government investment and treasury strategies across the UK and that many, more commercially minded councils, are now also adopting increasingly innovative approaches to commercialisation, such as:

Partnering with local bodies for added social value: Local public bodies are increasingly working together to help deliver a commercial and social benefit to the community.

Cross-boundary franchising and equity release: Councils have started to partner with bodies outside of their council boundaries, to help extend the service reach of established company spin-outs or new commercial ventures.

Place-based market offer: Integrating place-specific investment plans, allowing the community to realise the benefits of aggregation. The council plays a lead role as a facilitator for other local stakeholders who are aligned to the relevant local plans, industrial strategy or joint needs assessment for wellbeing.

Digitalisation and fintech: Using disruptive technologies to deliver service transformation and attract alternative finance, helping to alleviate budget pressures.


Guy Clifton
E:, T: 07771 974285

Philip Monaghan

E:, T: 07800 543 226