COPELAND council is reviewing its £38million-worth of assets.

The council’s executive committee heard at a meeting on Monday that the authority wants to explore ways to become a more commercially focused organisation.

A report was presented outlining the strategic asset management plan for the next four years.

Councillor David Moore, portfolio holder for nuclear and corporate services, said: “It’s important we understand all the properties the council owns.

“I was amazed at how many parcels and pieces of land we have and now we can start putting together a strategy to decide how we deal with things, what we’re getting rid of, rent or bring forward for development.

“Now we need to build up on that and see what our options are.”

The council currently owns 59 investment assets, which are assets held for revenue or capital generation; 52 operational assets, which are held to support the council’s service provision, including car parks and community centres; 186 community assets, which include play areas, coastal areas and open spaces; 53 surplus assets; 8 assets sold subject to contract.

The total value of £38 millions is valued on a replacement cost basis, rather than at open market value.

Pat Graham, chief executive at Copeland council, said it was important to encourage economic growth and that the council was looking at this as part of its commercial strategy.

The report presented to the executive said: “The development of the Council’s Economic Vision is underway with an anticipated completion date of October 2019.

“The Economic Vision will replace the Council’s Growth Strategy, commissioned in 2016, in which opportunities for inward investment and local growth were heavily influenced by the UK Energy Policy and the Moorside Project, which has now stalled.

“The Economic Vision document will demonstrate Copeland’s economic current and potential contribution to the wider Cumbrian and UK economies and delivery of the Cumbria Local Industry Strategy and linked local deals.”

One of the council’s objectives is to get out of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal for the Copeland Centre, which is the council’s HQ.

Built in 2004, the PFI contract is due to expire in 2029, however Copeland council is in talks to take direct ownership of the building. This would save the authority money as well as providing new investment opportunities.