Re-think is urged after Harrogate council fails to sell 1930s listed office building

Council bosses in Harrogate should ask the public for new ideas about the future of the historic Crescent Gardens offices after it failed to sell the building, the opposition leader has said.

Harrogate Borough Council revealed it has failed to sell the landmark Crescent Gardens office building after a deal with the preferred bidder, thought to be a hotel developer, fell through.

The council has already started work building a new state-of-the-art office complex at Knapping Mount.

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In July councillors voted to sell the landmark offices. The council’s chosen buyer was thought to be a developer planning to convert the grand building into a boutique five star hotel.

Lib Dem leader Coun Pat Marsh (Woodlands) said: “This is a good opportunity for the council to really rethink and look at what could be done with the building, this gives them breathing space.

“It would have been a lot better if things hadn’t got to this stage, because now it is building without the money in the bank.”

The 1930s listed building is set to be put back on the market next year.

Coun Graham Swift, the council’s member for tourism, economic development and enterprise earlier said: “The re-marketing of the Crescent Gardens offices will not impact on the building of new council headquarters.

“The move will benefit the council tax payers of the district. Council services will operate from a single site rather than five separate locations, as a consequence we will be able to offer better customer service, reduce duplication and share resources. It will allow us to save around £1 million per year.”