Council HQ: four sites in Leamington on list

Warwick District Council
Warwick District Council

Four possible sites for a new headquarters for Warwick District Council have been picked.

In March the council said it planned to site itself on open space in front of the Royal Spa Centre. But after opposition, senior councillors instructed officers to look at other options, including sites in Warwick and Kenilworth.

The shortlist for “further detailed assessment” includes the Court Street car park and adjoining council-owned land.

Also in Leamington are the Covent Garden surface car park, the Royal Spa Centre land and building on the Riverside House council office site.

Options could also include sharing a site with a county council local services centre.

The long list included more than 40 town centre and out-of -town sites.

The new offices will cost about £7 million and will be significantly less costly than Riverside House, which is £670,000 a year to run and the repairs bill is estimated to be £1 million over the next five years.

The council hopes to save at least £300,000 per year with the move.

The existing town hall has been ruled out as too small for the estimated 340 council staff, would have higher running costs than Riverside House and is said to be unsuitable for modernisation.

The shortlist is proposed in a report to the council executive meeting on December 3.

It said adequate sites in the district were limited because of availability or size and it pointed out that in leaving Leamington town centre, with the loss of the council staff’s spending power, the authority would be open to criticism.

The report said moving to Court Street could also “stimulate regeneration in Old Town”.

Council Leader Andrew Mobbs (Kenilworth, Park Hill) said: “We need HQ offices that are fit for purpose, accessible and allow us to continue to deliver high quality services.

“I also think it is important that we make a statement that we’re supporting Leamington and its businesses and keeping our economic spending power in the town centre.”