The local government funding crisis has become so dire that councils are being forced to sell thousands of public spaces – from libraries and community centres to playgrounds and pools – and are using some of the cash to fund further service cuts and redundancy payments.
In a major collaborative investigation with HuffPost UK and regional journalists across the country, the Bureau has compiled data on more than 12,000 public spaces disposed of by councils since 2014/15. We found that councils raised a total of £9.1 billion from selling property during this period.
The findings lay bare the spiralling impact of eight successive years of austerity, leaving services shut and buildings closed. Councils have been forced to take ever more desperate measures to stay in the black as their funding from central government has been cut by about 60% since 2010.
See what your council has sold. Enter your postcode into this interactive map.
Concerned? What can you do?
Share our stories
We are sharing a series of stories on this topic - please share these with those in your community - via email, social media, or on a community forum! Join us by using hashtag #SoldFromUnderYou.
Use our map as evidence
Explore our interactive map to find out what’s been sold off on in your local area - if you’re concerned about the results you can write to your council and your MP to raise the issue. Or if you have information about a particular building or space that has been sold off, let us know.
Safeguard the future
All illustrations by Hannah Eachus