A scheme which the council hope will bring major investment to Watford was given the green light last night.

Councillors present at an extraordinary meeting at Watford Borough Council last night voted overwhelmingly to support a proposal which will see the council take a 40 year lease on Croxley Park.

It is hoped the move will bring a benefit income of around £1.5 million every year to the town which will be spent of services and jobs.

The council, who already own Watford Business Park, will take on the lease from owners Colombia Threadneedle Investments (CTI), and after the 40 years is up, there is an opportunity to buy the business park for just £10.

Watford Borough Council says the project “secures its long term finances”.

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “This is an excellent deal for local council taxpayers as it provides a good, long-term income for the council. At a time when we have seen a 70 per cent reduction in the money we get from central government, many councils simply cannot balance the books. This isn’t a situation I want Watford to be in.

“This deal secures £1.5 million of additional income a year for the council, which will not only protect our front line services but allow us to continue to invest in improvements to our parks, leisure centres and street cleaning.

“This wasn’t a decision taken lightly by the council and we have taken thorough, independent advice from experts in their fields. This helps support jobs in our town and means that we can continue to invest in the things that matter most to local people.”

Opposition leader Cllr Nigel Bell said his group “finally agreed to the proposal”.

“After looking at all the pros and cons, and meeting with the managing director Manny Lewis as well as council officers, as well as advisors, we believe the positives outweigh the negatives, so we’ve finally agreed to support it. For example, £1.5m is a good amount of money.

“There is a risk in this and I am glad we agreed at the meeting full reviews of the project will be conducted every year at a range of meetings.”

The council will pay CTI £9.2m every year but the council will receive all of the rent from every business at Croxley Park. There is no break clause in the 40 year lease.

Read more about the scheme here