OFFICE RELOCATION: Middlesbrough Council office move
The council will be moving staff to Fountain Court next year, Image: Google Maps
The Civic Centre is set to be demolished as Middlesbrough Council plan to spend nearly £9m to move staff out of the building and across to Fountain Court next year.
On Tuesday, October 5, the executive will be voting to spend a further £4.138m on the office relocation, taking the total spend up to £8.876m.
At the executive meeting on March 6, 2021 Fountain Court was identified as the preferred choice for the new office building and it was agreed that the council would buy the block for £1.84m.
However, the council needs a further £7.03m for the refurbishment.
Mayor Andy Preston said: “I promised to save money and this office move saves about £13m.
“Before I was elected the council was committed to moving into a brand new, £20m, very fancy office – I cancelled that move and decided that instead we should rent out the new building and bring money in.
“This new move to an older building means we are bringing an older building back to life which is better for the environment and we’re saving money too – perfect.”
The council already had £4.438m in the budget from the One Centre Square proposals, which is where staff were originally going to move to.
The executive will vote on whether to grant a further £4.138m at the meeting next week.
The council will also have £300,000 more in the budget following a revised estimate for the demolition of the Civic Centre.
Once the new offices open next year, 154 Borough Road and Sandringham House will close with staff moving to Middlesbrough House and Fountain Court – it will cost £126,000 a year to run both of the buildings.
The annual running costs of Fountain Court and the Civic Centre are roughly the same.
However, the Civic Centre currently has a £2m maintenance backlog, which the council would not be required to pay if it moved buildings.
Originally, council staff were set to move to One Centre Square, however, Andy Preston put a stop to that as he wanted to fill it with other businesses.
Council officers then proposed a move to Centre North East, which has been left vacant since Garlands call centre went into administration in 2010.
However, those plans were also scrapped following the Covid pandemic as less office space was required since council staff are now able to work both from home and in the office.
This means that fewer desks and formal meeting rooms were required so Fountain Court was suitable.
Of the £7.03m used to refurbish the building, £16,000 will be spent on the survey and due diligence work, £135,200 on consultant’s fees, £160,000 on a pre-contract services agreement, £4.8m on the Overbury (who fit out the office) contract, £750,000 on an ICT fit-out, £100,000 on ICT black fibre connections and £550,000 on furniture and fixtures that are not provided by Overbury.
Included in the costs is a £520,896 contingency amount, which is required to take into account any increases or decreases in costs due to changing prices over time.
Words: Emily Craigie, Local Demcoracy Reporter
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