Town Hall move back on agenda

Town Hall ext 100236b news
Town Hall ext 100236b news

THE relocation of Scarborough’s Town Hall is due to move a major step closer after it emerged nearly £6 million will need to be spent maintaining the authority’s properties.

Proposals to move Scarborough Council’s main base out of the town centre have been mooted for more than a decade, but senior councillors have confirmed that a potential relocation is at its most advanced stage.

A report signed by council chief executive Jim Dillon and head of finance and asset management Nicholas Edwards states: “The minimum investment in the next two years to maintain a minimum standard of accommodation is approximately £2.6 million, not including IT upgrade, electronic filing etc. A further £1.7 million of capital costs would be required for these elements.

“Over a 25 year term, maintenance costs for the buildings are likely to be in the region of £5.8 million.

“Such an investment will only maintain the building and not address some of the restrictive internal layouts and remove the opportunity to deliver benefits in modern working practices.” It is understood the former Scarborough Building Society headquarters, near Morrisons, has been earmarked as a potential new home for the council.

An accommodation review is expected to be given the go-ahead at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, potentially paving the way for the authority to vacate the Town Hall.

Cllr Derek Bastiman, cabinet member for strategic planning and regeneration, said: “The Town Hall offices are an expensive luxury simply because of the age of the building and the need for renovations.

“We need to make sure that any move does not have a detrimental impact on the town centre economy. But the regeneration of Town Hall site is extremely important and could open up the way for a regeneration scheme that would help boost town centre enterprise.

“It is a fine balance between accessing the cost of running the grand old lady that is the Town Hall while making sure we protect Scarborough’s economy. We will be considering all options when looking at a potential relocation.”

Last month, Cllr Colin Challen, deputy leader of the Labour Party group on the council, called for a full public consultation over the move.