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Cambridgeshire County Council is planning to move its HQ out of Cambridge

By Ben Comber

Shirehall, Cambridge . Picture Keith Heppell
Shirehall, Cambridge . Picture Keith Heppell

The county council is expected to move its headquarters from Shire Hall in Cambridge to Alconbury.

The move would help save £220,000 from its budget owing to building maintenance that is no longer needed.

The authority has not yet decided whether it will sell the old building on Castle Street, Cambridge, or retain it to lease, but the relocation of Shire Hall has been granted a budget of £16.6million, which will be “funded from borrowing”.

The council has a choice of two potential new sites and its commercial and investments committee has recommended Alconbury, over establishing a presence in the newly-developing town of Northstowe.

A council spokesperson said: “Market interest will determine whether we sell or lease the buildings on the Shire Hall complex.

“The council would prefer to a retain long-term interest in the site. However, if we can get a better financial return for the residents of Cambridgeshire through a sale then this will be recommended to the commercial and investments committee for their consideration. Detailed costings of the programme are still confidential while negotiations continue. We also expect the elements within it to change as we develop the programme.”

The council wants the move to enable its staff to work “in the communities that they serve”. Around 20 per cent of county council staff work from Shire Hall at present. It says fewer would make the move to Alconbury, should it get the council’s backing.

Alconbury and Northstowe went forward for full business case development and the council’s commercial and investment committee considered both options.

The recommendation to move to Alconbury will be discussed at full council on May 15.


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