Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Premier League style naming rights for council buildings?
A COUNCIL should consider following in the footsteps of Premier League football clubs by selling naming rights to buildings to raise cash to offset Government cuts, a committee recommends.
A group of Wycombe District Councillors tasked with scrutinising the next budget believe there are ample opportunities for advertising, which could generate vital income.
After significant cuts from central Government further reductions are expected in coming years.
Cllr Ron Gaffney, Chairman of the Improvement and Review Commission, told a public meeting: “We think there's great scope for it in this day and age of advertising.
"You've only got to go to a football match and there's advertising everywhere.
“We think with the buildings we've got and the places we've got we could really pursue that because that's a way of getting in what I would say is easy money and that would ease the problem.”
Cllr Gaffney, who represents Hazlemere, said: “Primarily we're looking at advertising more than anything as something that would really make money.”
“There are other fees for naming rights and they're all wrapped up in one bundle.”
Selling stadium naming rights has become one of the most lucrative sources of generating cash for big football clubs in recent times, with teams like Manchester City gaining around £100m.
As it stands, the idea is only a proposal to be considered by Cabinet and there is no detail at this stage of which council buildings could be used as a platform for advertising.
Cllr Gaffney added: “We're suggesting we really home in on everything we can raise income from other those that are set by government. We've got to boost our income up somehow.”
Cllr David Watson, who represents Flackwell Heath and Little Marlow, however, expressed concerns about shifting focus from budget expenditure to income.
He said: “I think it's always a good thing to review income but nevertheless we should focus control on costs and not on income.
“Income is up side which may or may not happen and if it continues to happen should create an opportunity to move money to reserves or even reduce council tax rather than offset costs.”
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Trevor Snaith cautioned that naming rights may be unpopular, as Newcastle United discovered when their stadium became the Sports Direct Arena.
He said: “People are precious about their buildings and but advertising in things like car parks is a sensible way to go if you can get the revenue.
"However, at the moment there's a lot of caution among businesses with advertising budgets and whether there's the money that there was before the recession is to be seen."