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Gloucestershire Business News

BREAKING NEWS: Gloucester City Council set to move

Gloucester City Council is considering moving to new offices in the city centre in a bid to save money and adjust to new ways of working post-Covid.

The Council's three-year lease at the Gloucestershire County Council's Shire Hall is coming to an end shortly and the plan is to move to offices in the management suite above the City Council-owned Eastgate Shopping Centre, opposite the new Primark store.

The Council will also occupy the walkway across the street where Severn Sound Radio used to be.

New ways of 'hybrid' working, in which staff work from home and just come into the office for meetings, mean the management team reckon they need less desk space.

Currently, the 220 or more staff 'hot desk' from around 100 workspaces. The new facility would reduce this to 75, with increased meeting space.

The move could save £200,000 over three years.

It's estimated that the Council has lost about a third of its revenue from car parks with fewer people coming into the city - about £250,000 a year.

John McGinty, CEO of Gloucester City Council, said: "We are looking for savings but also we are looking at reconfiguring our workspace and trying to work out how much space we need in the new world of work."

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "With our three-year lease due to expire this is a sensible way we can save money without it impacting our residents.

"It will not only bring significant savings, making better use of taxpayers' money but, most importantly, bring the council even further into the heart of the city."

In 2019, the Council moved from the Herbert, Kimberley and Phillpotts warehouse in Gloucester Docks in order to free up buildings so they could be sold to boost regeneration of the area.

But since taking up the offices at Shire Hall, the Council has bought Eastgate Shopping Centre to help regenerate that area.

The move - if approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet - is expected to happen next year and would bring staff closer to local businesses in the city centre.

Mr McGinty added: "It makes the council a bit more visible, and it means that we are putting the council workers' pound back into the city centre economy and as a council we stay in the city."

Under the plans, the Council's Gateway reception would remain at its current location on Westgate Street.

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