Empty units at South Fens Business Centre, Chatteris, are losing Fenland Council up to £350 a day – 2p on council tax if empty for a year

26th February 2018

Well over a third of the 46 units at Fenland District Council’s South Fens Business Centre in Chatteris are empty and to let, costing the local authority up to £350 a day in lost income.

The 60 per cent occupancy rate is at its lowest level in years but all business units in the council owned enterprise park that adjoins it are full.

The council says its Boathouse business centre at Wisbech is faring better with an occupancy rate of 82 per cent and light industrial units across the district have a 94 per cent occupancy level.

But it will be the South Fens centre that will cause more alarm with units available ranging in price from £3,575 a year to those over £10,000 a year.

If all 17 vacant offices were to remain empty for a year the cost to council tax payers would equate to £127,000 – that’s almost two per cent on your council tax.

A council spokesman said the South Fens centre comprises 46 offices, two meeting rooms and three conference rooms.

There are currently 29 occupied offices at the centre, with the remaining 17 available to let.

“Occupancy is measured and reported as occupied floor space” said a spokesman.

As of February 28 there is 8,573 square feet occupied that equates to 58 per cent.

“The business premises team is currently reviewing marketing options for South Fens, to ensure that we maximise opportunities to increase occupancy,” said the spokesman.

This might include “reviewing and refreshing our web presence” and using the twitter feed of ‘Fenland for Business’ as well as the council’s own Twitter feed.

They also hope to “develop case studies of existing tenant businesses” and a marketing campaign using social media is being implemented.