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15 April 2015, 10:45
Cheltenham Borough Council have approved plans to move out of the Municipal Offices and into a new building in the town centre.
They think it will save them around 68 thousand pounds a year - they'll name their new home in the coming weeks.
Heart's being told The new offices - which will initially be acquired as an investment - will be refurbished to meet the needs of the council. Any extra space will be leased to help reduce the council's overheads and "protect front line services in the face of funding cuts."
For a long time, the council has wanted to relocate to modern, more flexible office accommodation.
Mark Sheldon, director of resources for Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "After very many years of considering the options, the council has made a significant decision which will have a major impact on the town?s economy and regeneration. Cheltenham will be better placed to attract even more visitors and businesses to the town, and the council will have better and more accessible offices for its local residents and staff."
The Municipal Offices themselves will be re-developed as soon as possible into a mixed use development - for instance, a hotel with shops and other leisure activities. This will involve reconfiguring the rear of the Municipal Offices, removing the additions to the original building and the creation of a new public space to complement the Royal Crescent.
Heart's also been told "Rather than sell the building for a one off capital sum, it would be more prudent to secure a longer term annual income stream, through a ground rent or performance share, to help support the council?s revenue budget and funding gap."
There are also separate plans to re-develop Cheltenham Town Hall.
The Cheltenham Trust, who manages a range of historic and contemporary buildings across Cheltenham, will now move forward with a large scale plan to re-develop Cheltenham Town Hall.
Mark Sheldon, director of resources at Cheltenham Borough Council said: "The sale of North Place and Portland Street car parks resulted in a capital receipt of £8m. This provides the council with a one off opportunity to invest in a project which supports the council’s budget, raises the cultural profile of the town further and has the potential to contribute to the town’s economy."
The Cantata project marks the first phase of a funding partnership, which will see one of Cheltenham’s best known landmark buildings revitalised and transformed. The Trust will use the £400,000 of first stage approved funding to embark on a dedicated programme, to move forward the full capital redevelopment project, securing an even brighter future for the building and offering more cultural diversity for the town. The initial scoping work will focus on much needed upgrades to infrastructure, aimed at a transition to multiple use provision. It will also explore fresh options for catering and hospitality, and the creation of an innovative cultural hub, alongside several strands of work to consolidate Cheltenham Town Hall’s heritage and 21st century use through capital investment.
Julie Finch, Chief Executive of The Cheltenham Trust, said “We are passionate about revitalising Cheltenham Town Hall, driving the redevelopment of the building, ensuring an even greater contribution to the communities it serves. The next few months will be an exciting time for the team at Cheltenham Town Hall, as they begin the first stage of this pivotal project.”