Public talks are under way on a council’s controversial plan to relocate to new multi-million pound offices.
Harrogate Borough Council has been considering a range of proposals to reduce its office accommodation as staff are currently split between five main sites. Its previous plans to move to the site of the former Harrogate police station were thrown into disarray when the building was listed.
The two options for consideration are relocating to a new headquarters at Knapping Mount, and selling off the other sites, or consolidating staff in three buildings – Crescent Gardens, Springfield House and Scottsdale House. Councillors have agreed Knapping Mount is their preferred option but a final decision is expected next year. The council will be holding a series of drop in events on: Wednesday, June 4, at Ripon Town Hall, 10am–2pm; Thursday, June 26, at St Peters Church, Harrogate, 11am–2pm; Friday, June 27, at Council Offices, Crescent Gardens, 1pm–5pm and Monday, June 30, at Knaresborough House, Knaresborough, 10am–2pm. The consultation will finish on Monday, August 4.
Coun Anthony Alton, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council said: “Operating from the current five sites is costly and inefficient and we seek to address this through our proposals.”
Last year a report prepared for councillors said: “The net capital cost of improvements and consolidation in existing buildings is estimated to be £4.8m against £7.9 to £8.9m for a development of office accommodation on the Knapping Mount site.” However it found running costs would be far less if it moved to new offices. Details can be found at www.harrogate.gov.uk/officeproject.