In February 2013 councillors at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council made the decision to move out of the North Quay offices following consultation with residents and businesses which supported the proposal.
A condition report estimates that the council would need to spend in the region of £2million on building and maintenance costs in coming years to stay in its main offices at North Quay. Moves out of the office are planned to take place in phases next year and will see the council significantly reduce its running costs. The council is set to submit a planning application this autumn for a high-quality mixed-use development on North Quay office site to help regenerate the harbourside and provide an economic boost for the area.
Council Finance and Assets Brief Holder Colin Huckle said: “A councillor working group has been looking long and hard at this and I’m pleased that we are at the stage to look at the consultation results. The consultation will help us move onto producing final designs in order to realise the very real and tangible benefits of moving out of the North Quay offices. We’ll be able to cut our running costs and regenerate the harbourside with a high quality mixed-use retail and residential development which will bring economic benefits for both the council and town in line with our vision for the Borough.”
A public reception is set to be retained in the town centre at the council-owned Mulberry Centre with staff delivering local services based at the council’s existing Crookhill Offices in Chickerell.
Back office staff will share South Walks House offices in Dorchester with colleagues from West Dorset District Council. The two councils remain separate, but now share a workforce, a move that has saved around £9 million in three years.
Proceeds from the sale of the council’s Guildhall building and together with Government money – awarded in recognition of the council’s partnership working – will help pay office conversion and moving costs.
This is estimated to be in the region of £650,000 depending on final agreed designs.
The North Quay site and other key harbourside sites are part of the evolving town centre master plan.
Image ion this page: An artist’s impression of the proposed development on the North Quay site (copyright Ben Penreath Associates).
The Management Committee agenda can be found online at http://webapps-wpbc.dorsetforyou.com/apps/democracy/managementDocuments.asp