BOURNEMOUTH council is planning to boost its coffers by setting up its own building company, offering a range of services to paying customers.

A new council-owned trading company called Bournemouth Building Maintenance Ltd will operate commercially in the private sector, offering a variety of services including home adaptations, building refurbishments, bathroom and kitchen installations and electrical work.

The council claims this will generate much-needed income and create jobs and apprenticeships locally but it will also provide extra competition for builders at a time when the economy is still struggling.

The proposals were approved by cabinet members on March 26 and the company is expected to start trading in May.

A total of 82 staff currently employed by Mouchel are set to be transferred into the company on a labour-only basis.

Additional tradespeople and apprentices will be recruited to meet any additional demand, it has been confirmed.

The council’s business plan projects a net profit of £143,000 in 2014/15, rising to £590,000 in 2020/21.

Cllr Robert Lawton, cabinet member for housing, said: “This is a really exciting initiative for the council.

“We already have a very well established, successful and skilled council building maintenance team and we want to build on that success and expand the services into the private sector.

“Not only would this generate much-needed income for the council but it would also help stimulate the local economy by providing jobs and apprenticeships in the building trade.”