THE site of a B&Q store is the latest investment by a Somerset council - costing £4.4 MILLION.

South Somerset District Council has purchased the site of the Glastonbury store as part of its bid to invest in a 'diverse range of assets' in order to generate income as it faces cuts from central government.

The council says the Glastonbury B&Q, on Wirral Park, is a 'top-performing branch', measuring 27,000 square foot, with an 8,000 square foot external garden centre and 4,000 square foot secure delivery yard.

It has been tenanted by B&Q since its construction with an unexpired lease term of seven years.

"The council undertook substantial due diligence, mindful of current difficulties within the retail market," said a council spokesperson.

"But the store has performed well since opening in the early 1990s while the lack of competitors locally and lack of retail warehousing in the town made the investment opportunity attractive and able to pass the council’s strict investment criteria.

"The property was also purchased with an eye on the future development of part of the car park, which will allow income and capital value to be maximised."

Portfolio holder for economic development including commercial strategy at SSDC, John Clark, said: “While it is out of district, this store is one that we know well and one that we consider to be shielded from the general malaise that has hit retail warehousing.

“This investment is the latest success in achieving the aims of our commercial strategy, which is focused on generating income to secure the provision of public services.

"We are pleased to report we are on target to meet our commercial targets.”

Ellie Kirkby, retail warehouse specialist at property firm Avison Young, said: “This should prove to be a solid investment for South Somerset District Council.

"The unit is let at a reasonably low rent, and the lack of other major DIY provision in the town, coupled with a distinct lack of retail warehouse supply, makes this an attractive and relatively rare investment opportunity.

"In addition there are asset management opportunities for the council to add value here.”