February 27, 2015

Suffolk Coastal reveals new HQ

Suffolk Coastal has revealed the site of its new headquarters building.

At last night’s Full Council meeting (Thursday, 26 February, 2015), Councillors were told that the move to nearby Melton is all set to go ahead.

Last year (September 2014), Suffolk Coastal decided to move from its ageing existing office in Melton Hill, Woodbridge, to more modern premises to reduce its running costs.

Now Suffolk Coastal has revealed it has finalised the details of the new headquarters. The Council will be moving its headquarters to purpose-built offices on a brown field site opposite Melton railway station.

The Council has purchased part of the former Girdlestones site, owned by Riduna Holdings. The cost of land acquisition and building new premises is £3.9m, which will be met from existing resources. Suffolk Coastal will generate capital funds through the sale of both its existing headquarters and nearby Cedar House.

One of the key aims of the move is to protect the tax payer, by reducing the Council’s running costs in the future, as the current headquarters is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and run.

Now the contract is agreed, Suffolk Coastal’s Melton Hill site will be put on the market, allowing the Council to move into the new building late in 2016.

“The harsh reality is our existing headquarters in Melton Hill, Woodbridge, is an ageing building, which has become increasingly expensive to maintain and is too big for the Council’s existing staffing level,” said Cllr Robert Whiting, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for Resources and chairman of the accommodation project board.

“The move will allow us to create a modern working environment, which is affordable, adaptable, sustainable and compatible with Suffolk Coastal being an efficient, forward-thinking organisation which is dedicated to giving local people the best possible quality of service at the lowest possible cost.

“We are faced with mounting costs the longer we stay on this site, whereas the new site will save us, and the tax payer, an estimated £200,000 a year in running costs initially, rising to £500,000 a year in the longer term.

“This move will not place any extra burden on local tax payers and we will have invested in a modern building, which is sustainable, cheaper to run and will be adaptable for our future needs,” explained Cllr Whiting.

“The additional benefit is we will be using a brown field site, which has stood derelict for some time, and will give Melton a boost by moving into the village.”

The developer, Riduna Holdings Ltd, is delighted to have secured this sale to Suffolk Coastal District Council, which will become the first occupiers on this brand new five-acre landscaped office village under development.

“We are looking forward to creating a landmark office building for Suffolk Coastal District Council, which will provide them with a modern efficient working environment and lead the way forward for other occupiers to join them on this premier office village site,” said a company spokesman.

Units will be available on a freehold or leasehold basis, ranging from 1,250 sq ft to 25,000 sq ft. For further information, call Riduna Holdings Ltd on 01728 74 81 11 or 07860 30 80 20.

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