District council considers moving headquarters to Banbury's Castle Quay
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The council deems its current headquarters at Bodicote House too big for its needs and is looking at the possibility of moving to a more suitable office.
Following the COVID-19 lockdowns and the introduction of hybrid work-at-home arrangements, the council believes a smaller, more modern, and more energy-efficient space will help it save money.
A spokesperson for the council said: “The council-owned Castle Quay would provide a more central and accessible office location for residents and customers to visit and help the council support its sustainability pledge.”
Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: "Bodicote House has served us well for many years, but it has become clear that it is now too big for us, and there may be a better place to be based that can save money and benefit our residents and communities.
"Castle Quay is an option under consideration as we own the development. There is space to create a modern, energy-efficient office and provide first-class services from a central Banbury location with good transport links and access.
"Once our feasibility work is complete, we will consider the business case that highlights the expected benefits a potential move could bring the council, our residents, and Cherwell."
The feasibility work for the move to Castle Quay is underway and will be worked into a business case requiring formal approval. Subject to all approvals, the move could occur late next year.
Cllr Sean Woodcock, leader of the Labour group, said: "We have been consistent in supporting the council's attempts to regenerate Banbury town centre, including the purchase of Castle Quay, which we saw as part of that. So, a potential relocation of the council’s offices into Banbury would have a significant beneficial impact on the town centre.
"It would support Castle Quay and existing businesses, encourage more new investment, and help to make Banbury an even better destination for residents and visitors to enjoy.
"This is a positive step forward as we plan for the future."
If the decision is taken to move out of Bodicote House, the council will have the opportunity to look at plans for the site.