Council keeps Kingswood base after finding new tenant for Civic Centre

February 03 2017

SOUTH Gloucestershire Council is keeping a base at Kingswood Civic Centre after finding a new tenant for part of the building.

SOUTH Gloucestershire Council is keeping a base at Kingswood Civic Centre after finding a new tenant for part of the building.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) will move in later this year on a 20 year lease.

The plans, which will save the authority around £400,000 in running costs, will mean the council maintaining ownership of the building and having use of the civic and training facilities, including the council chamber. 

The One Stop Shop will remain and ultimately the library will relocate to the civic centre to create a 'Community Hub' for Kingswood. Police facilities will be unaffected.

The majority of staff currently working at the civic centre will relocate their office base to the council building in Yate, while others, including those who need to be based in Kingswood to deliver local-based services, will remain at the civic centre. 

The move follows a public consultation which confirmed support for council to prioritise reducing unnecessary office costs over cutting services.

Staff affected are expected to move across to Yate from late April to July this year, ahead of AWP moving in during September.

Councillor Matthew Riddle, leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to deliver our preferred option, to keep important services in Kingswood and at the same time save money that we would otherwise be spending on underused office space. 

“The centre of Kingswood will benefit from having a new group of workers coming to the area who will use local businesses and as a council we will be making better use of our building in Yate.

“We have been able to make the savings we needed to, while remaining fully committed to the Kingswood community and without reducing services.”

Around 220 staff currently based at the civic centre are expected to relocate to the council’s Badminton Road office in Yate. Around 100 staff, including registrars, contact centre and staff who work directly with people in Kingswood and surrounding areas, will remain based in the building.

Some works will be undertaken to prepare the building for AWP. 

The council is in discussions with other organisations about potentially leasing out space in other areas of the civic centre. The authority says that should these discussions be successful, this could generate additional income that would reduce pressure on other budgets.

Meanwhile the council is continuing to encourage green travel options by working on plans to extend the car park at Badminton Road which, if possible, would add a further 100 plus spaces.