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Town Hall revamp will save council £1.5m a year

CHANGES ... South Shields Town Hall and, inset, Coun Ed Malcolm, left, with South Tyneside Councils head of asset management, Paul Scrafton, checking the building plans.

CHANGES ... South Shields Town Hall and, inset, Coun Ed Malcolm, left, with South Tyneside Councils head of asset management, Paul Scrafton, checking the building plans.

A REVAMP of South Shields Town Hall will eventually see 1,000 council workers based there.

Council bosses see the building in Westoe Road once again playing a key role in delivering services after a huge modernisation programme which will double the number of people working there.

This, South Tyneside Council says, will enable it to transfer staff from six other buildings in the borough – saving about £1.5m a year in running and maintenance costs.

The surplus sites include South Shields Central Library, Commercial House and the already-demolished Wouldhave House, along with a number of leased buildings.

These sites will be redeveloped.

A number of departments have temporarily been moved out while the work – which the council says is “cost-neutral” – is carried out.

Phase one of the improvement works, which includes the Beach Road and eastern end of Broughton Road block, started in August and is due to be completed in the summer.

Phase Two, which includes the western end of Broughton Road, is expected to be finished in spring next year.

The improvements will ensure that the building meets health and safety requirements and be more energy-efficient.

Coun Ed Malcolm, the council’s lead member for resources and innovation, said: “We are working hard to find new ways to provide services so savings can be made, while minimising impact on our frontline operations.

“Our property and asset strategies are all about remodelling the way our services are delivered.

“They help us to improve the services that local people rely on by bringing teams together in one place so they can work more effectively.

“As a result of this approach, the property requirements of those services will change, and we need to make better use of the space we have.

“Once complete, South Shields Town Hall will be fit for purpose to accommodate up to 1,000 staff, and will be much more sustainable and cost-effective.”

This approach is part of a borough-wide asset strategy, which will bring council teams together in key buildings – South Shields Town Hall, Jarrow Town Hall, Gordon House, Hawthorne House and Strathmore House.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul

 

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