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Future of council offices in Daventry to be discussed

Business, licensing and regeneration

06 October 2022

Plans to relocate council services to new offices within Daventry town centre will be considered by councillors next week.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is pursuing plans to relocate from its current base at Lodge Road as part of proposals to use their current property assets as economically and efficiently as possible.

The move will bring together services more effectively for residents. This would include front-line teams like customer services, revenues and benefits, housing, adult social care and children’s services being based at a locality hub within the Abbey Centre in St John’s Square and is expected to save at least £200,000 a year in the Council’s revenue budget, which pays for the day-to-day running of services.

The relocation requires an investment of £2m to pay for work needed to renovate and refurbish the building to accommodate the council’s services alongside existing voluntary and community sector tenants.

This investment will have no detrimental impact on services, will be offset by the annual savings of at least £200,000 per year generated by closing the Lodge Road office and would also be recouped should the council sell or lease out the Lodge Road site in the future.

Cllr Malcolm Longley, WNC’s Cabinet Member for finance, said: “This plan makes financial sense, as it will enable us to make year-on-year savings whilst maintaining a strong presence in Daventry.

"With our offices currently under capacity, a review of our buildings is what taxpayers would expect. We will always seek to make savings, whilst protecting services and will do all we can to manage our finances prudently."

While the Abbey Centre is already more modern and energy efficient than the Lodge Road offices, with an existing solar energy array on the roof, part of the adaptation would be to install a more efficient heating, cooling and ventilation system.

The Lodge Road offices will continue to be part occupied for a limited period and WNC is working with existing tenants to make alternative arrangements. Future options for the site are being considered, including potential sale or lease to third parties for rental income.

The Cabinet meeting is set to take place at The Forum in Towcester from 6pm on Tuesday 11 October, and it will be live streamed via the council's YouTube account.

The agenda and reports can be viewed on the council’s website.

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