Coun­cil to va­cate iconic build­ing next sum­mer

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Joel Lamy Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy 01733 588728

Peter­bor­ough’s job­cen­tre will re­lo­cate to the Town Hall once city coun­cil staff move out of the iconic build­ing next year.

Ren­o­va­tions cost­ing £2.4 mil­lion will soon be­gin at the south side of the build­ing to pre­pare for the Depart­ment for Work and Pen­sions (DWP) to move in.

The coun­cil, which will pay £1.7 mil­lion of the cost, is tak­ing up res­i­dence at of­fices in the new £120 mil­lion Flet­ton Quays devel­op­ment from July 2018.

The af­fected parts of the Town Hall cur­rently sit above two boarded up shop units are to be turned into a vis­i­ble en­trance for the job­cen­tre, with lifts lead­ing up to the first and sec­ond floors which will be re­fur­bished then oc­cu­pied by the DWP.

The Gov­ern­ment depart­ment will pay £734,000 of the ren­o­va­tion costs.

Cllr David Seaton, cab­i­net mem­ber for re­sources at the coun­cil, said: “In March 2016 the city coun­cil an­nounced that it would be­come an an­chor ten­ant on the Flet­ton Quays site in or­der to kick­start the £120 mil­lion devel­op­ment.

“This com­mit­ment has proved suc­cess­ful and since then plan­ning per­mis­sion has been granted for more than 350 homes, Hil­ton has con­which firmed a 160-bed ho­tel and fund­ing is se­cured for a new arts and cul­ture hub.

“Ben­e­fits will also in­clude ad­di­tional coun­cil tax and busi­ness rates in­come as well as cre­at­ing jobs.

“The coun­cil’s move to Flet­ton Quays will not come at the ex­pense of tax­pay­ers and costs will be outweighed through in­come gen­er­ated, which in­cludes leas­ing parts of the Town Hall to other or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

The coun­cil ex­pects to make an ex­tra £7.6 mil­lion over the com­ing years from its move to Flet­ton Quays at the South Bank, with the north side of the Town Hall and its of­fices at Ba­yard Place in Broad­way also to be leased out.

How­ever, the civic ar­eas of the Town Hall will re­main as they are now and open to the pub­lic.

The pro­gramme of works is sched­uled to start on Oc­to­ber 23 and be com­pleted by March 30, 2018 with the 170 mem­bers of staff at the job­cen­tre mov­ing in shortly after­wards.

The con­tract for the works is cur­rently £300,000 over bud­get, but Cllr Seaton said: “We ex­pect that the to­tal cost for the dif­fer­ent phases of the Town Hall re­fur­bish­ment works will be within our over­all es­ti­mated bud­get.”

Coun­cil staff have al­ready va­cated the south side of the Town Hall, and with most of the works be­ing in­ter­nal Cllr Seaton said the pub­lic should only see min­i­mum dis­rup­tion.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the ren­o­va­tion

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