Office Accommodation Strategy - Update
Conwy County Borough Council has been working to reduce our revenue costs, optimise the use of our assets, reduce our carbon emissions, avoid significant repair and maintenance costs, and create opportunities for economic development. The Coed Pella offices in Colwyn Bay have already enabled us to centralise many of our teams, reducing costs and freeing up buildings around the county for sale or alternative use. We are now exploring the viability of a one-office solution in order to further progress this modernisation work.
It is important to note that most of our staff are not office-based, they work in our schools, leisure centres, libraries, on recycling/refuse rounds and many other community focused locations, so it’s vital that our central services are organised as efficiently as possible to support that work taking place in our communities.
As such, in June Cabinet agreed that we should prepare a full business case which, if viable, would deliver a one office strategy with Coed Pella providing the central hub for officers and County Councillors.
Professional fees will be incurred to progress the full business case, including fees for specialist property agents and for planning consultants with regards to the disposal of Bodlondeb as well as design and consultancy work associated with relocating functions into Coed Pella.
This month, councillors* endorsed the project brief, and approved £255,000 to develop the full business case.
To be clear, it is not the intention to sell or lease the park at Bodlondeb which contains the cricket field, tennis courts etc, nor the cenotaph or the Local Nature Reserve. This has never been in our thoughts. The Council will look to retain these and rights on elements of land transferred, so that their continued use and public access isn’t prejudiced. As mentioned above, if the Council were to transfer the Bodlondeb offices to a third party, it would be by way of a long term lease, where there would be strict terms and conditions, which would give added control, over and above the listed building status.
The full business case will take time to put together and is expected to be presented to Cabinet for consideration early next year.
*Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee (04/09/23) and Cabinet (12/09/23).
Posted on 25/09/2023