VIDEO: Iconic Municipal Offices up for sale
By Sarah Wood | 7th September 2023
Cheltenham's iconic Municipal Offices is up for sale and Punchline-Gloucester.com got an exclusive behind the scenes tour.
This is the first video of three that we're releasing as we travel the different floors of the building. Come back for part 2 tomorrow (Friday 8) and part 3 on Monday (September 11).
The 60,000 sq ft offices on the Promenade have been home to Cheltenham Borough Council for more than a century, but are no longer fit for purpose.
With the move towards hybrid working arrangements, the offices are too big for the council's needs. The carbon footprint is considerable, and the building is not accessible for people with mobility requirements.
Paul Jones, executive director of finance, assets and regeneration, told Punchline-Gloucester.com editor, Mark Owen, about the history of the building.
He said: "It was built in the early 19th century as 21 terraced houses. Cheltenham Brough Council made its first purchase of four or five properties in 1914, followed by a further nine in the 1950s and 1960s.
"We've come to the conclusion that it's served its purpose as our home and really needs a new lease of life and another legacy for the next generation."
The building consists of five floors, but only three are currently used by the council. On average, around 90 people work in the building's extensive ground floor.
In the 1990s, Cheltenham Borough Council had around 700 directly employed staff. Now, with shared services and commissioned services, the council directly employs a workforce of just 250.
The ground floor also includes the council's committee suite and impressive council chamber.
Cllr Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "The council chamber is a very splendid room, but actually it's only used half a dozen times a year. It's only used primarily for full council meetings."
As the council prepares to say goodbye to its home, it said it is very important to find the right scheme and the right developer to take the building forward and preserve its historic character.
Cllr Hay said: "It's an iconic building and really important in terms of our place-making as a town."
Part 2 of Punchline-Gloucester.com's tour of the historic building will be published tomorrow (September 8), with part 3 on Monday (September 11).
Businesses interested in finding out more about the sale of the historic Municipal Offices should contact Abi Marshall, development manager, at Cheltenham Borough Council.
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