Work begins on £2m council base

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WORK has begun on a landmark £2m scheme for a Yorkshire council to centralise its operations and bring to an end a chapter that stretches back more than 20 years.

Richmondshire District Council hopes to have the new base ready by next summer after a former lower school site is transformed into the authority’s new headquarters. Contractors moved on to the former Richmond Lower School site this week to develop a facility which will bring the council’s services under one roof for the first time in its 38-year history.

The possibility of centralising the operations was first mooted in the 1980s and the move to the former school site was approved in July.

Council leader John Blackie said: “This site provides the perfect answer – we have a building that allows us to bring all services under one roof making it much easier not just for officers and councillors to conduct their business but for our customers too.”

The scheme also protects one of Richmond’s most iconic buildings, creating a base for the voluntary sector and a venue for public meetings, banquets, and weddings in the mid-19th century school hall, which will be renovated next year.