New Cumbria County Council HQ 'would save cash'

Carlisle Citadel The council is considering a "suitable option" for the citadel building

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Council chiefs in Cumbria have said that a £10m purpose-built headquarters in Carlisle would be money well spent.

Workers at the county council are based in about 20 different locations in and around the city.

Many premises are old and expensive to run, and it would cost almost as much to refurbish them as it would to build an HQ on the site of the old William Street car park, the council said.

Creating the HQ would also save tens of thousands of pounds in running costs.

Citadel rethink

Mike Smith, the county council's assistant director for property, said: "At the moment we have collection of about 20 buildings.

"We've calculated that it would cost about £9.2m to put them in good condition.

"We've also looked at the total running cost, the annual running costs, of all our existing buildings, compared with what would be a modern, more energy-efficient and flexible working space.

"In purely property terms that would amount to a saving of about a quarter of a million pounds a year."

Previous plans to sell Carlisle's historical citadel building, which houses some council staff, have now been shelved, the council said.

Mr Smith said: "The citadel is an important building, and we are looking for a suitable and sustainable option to protect it in the future.

"Perhaps for heritage or tourists' use, to welcome people getting off train to the city."

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