Council could move into Banbury's Castle Quay by late next year, cutting costs and 'regenerating' town centre
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Cherwell District Council’s relocation from its current headquarters was given the green light, officially, by councillors and it is estimated the move may happen late in 2024.
It is understood the council is in negotiation with an unnamed business or organisation with a view to selling Bodicote House.
On Monday the council’s executive agreed to move from the current Whitepost Road headquarters to Castle Quay which the authority owns.
With feasibility work now complete, a report presented to the executive demonstrates that the move would allow the council to establish new headquarters in a smaller, more modern and energy-efficient space.
A press statement today (Tuesday) said the move supports the council’s wider ambition to regenerate the town centre and would increase footfall to local businesses.
Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of the Council, said: “As a modern and forward thinking authority, it is only right that we ensure we occupy office space that is proportionate to our needs, and which correctly supports the key public services we are providing to our residents.
“Detailed feasibility work has now been completed, so this significant move is supported by a full business case. The report we considered on Monday details the significant benefits this move will offer to our residents and to the council itself.
“This move would save the taxpayer money on annual running and maintenance costs, support our sustainability pledge, and make us more accessible to our residents. We also believe the move supports our wider aspirations for the regeneration of Banbury town centre.”
As part of the feasibility study, the future of Bodicote House also had to be considered alongside any potential move.
At the same meeting the council executive authorised officers to progress negotiations with a potential interested party for Bodicote House. This transaction would help fund the move to Castle Quay. Subject to further work, the move could occur in late 2024, the press statement said.
The Banbury Guardian has asked the council what arrangements would be made for staff car parking; Bodicote House has a large dedicated parking area which is free to employees and councillors.