The council claims it will save £1.1m per year in bills and rent in 2015/16, while simultaneously cutting carbon emissions by 16.5%. The council plans to spend £18m refurbishing four buildings – County Hall, City Hall, Willcox House and Global Link – which between them have the capacity for an extra 1000 workers. £4.3m of this will be raised by selling seven council-owned buildings.
About 350 council staff will be relocated as a result of the changes. Councillor Mark Stephens, executive member for finance, said public access to council services would not be reduced as a result of the changes. “Consolidating our office accommodation will result in fewer but more efficient council buildings,” he said. JNR Enterprise added, “The fact is the move will not only make the offices run more efficiently, but will open up the vacated spaces for further development.”
The council’s statements on their plans seem to support this idea. Marland House for example, is to be vacated, with staff relocating to Greyfriars Road. The council is meanwhile in negotiations to demolish the building and replace it with a new £10m bus station. Other sites are earmarked for social housing, as part of the council’s ambition to spend £33m on new homes over the next five years. In addition the council plans to sell several sites to private developers, in order to raise funding. Our JNR Enterprise source commented that this would provide a lot of opportunity for new enterprise.
Labour councillors have warned landlords may struggle to re-let the buildings, but Coun. Stephens said: “I don’t think we’ll end up with a lot of empty buildings. I think there is a lot of attractive opportunities for the owners of the buildings, there is a revival of interest in housing in the city.”
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Junior Enterprise Ltd was established in late August 2010. Junior Enterprise Ltd is a fast growing sales and marketing firm located in Cardiff.