Northamptonshire County Council is looking to minimise its property costs by disposing of County Hall and increasing occupancy at its corporate headquarters One Angel Square.
The authority can bring down its annual rental costs and generate income by sub-letting parts of One Angel Square to partner organisations in order to achieve the best value for money from the building.
Since staff relocated to One Angel Square last May, there are now limited functions being delivered from the County Hall site, where the council chamber, coroner’s courts and tourist information centre are based. If the sale of the site goes ahead, these services would be relocated.
The proposals are due to be discussed at a Cabinet meeting next Tuesday (June 12th).
County council cabinet member for finance Cllr Michael Clarke said: “Our move from 12 expensive buildings in Northampton into One Angel Square last year is already proving cost-effective and enabling us to adopt more modern ways of working. The proposed accommodation strategy will allow us to make even better use of our new headquarters.
“The building was carefully designed to enable flexible ways of working and by reconfiguring the layout, we can maximise the space available to bring partner organisations into One Angel Square, achieving closer collaboration with partners and delivering additional income for the council.
“At the same time, we are looking to dispose of the County Hall site which was once our democratic hub and is now hugely under-utilised. The imminent transformation of local government in Northamptonshire offers us an opportunity to review the use of the site and look at alternative venues for full council meetings.”
If the sale of County Hall is agreed, there would be a staged withdrawal from the site with the aim of all operations ceasing in line with the implementation of the new unitary authorities.
The county council sold One Angel Square last month to Canada Life Investments on a 35-year leaseback arrangement. Estimates suggest the space made available for third party occupation in One Angel Square would generate around £500,000 per year for the authority.