Published: Wednesday, 13 July 2022
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council (OWBC) will swap its primary offices to Brocks Hill Country Park in an innovative, green and cost-saving move.
The move will see the council better its financial position by more than £2million over the next 10 years while also enhancing its green credentials and offering its staff a more agile and healthy workplace.
The council announced that it was making the move in 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic led to a re-assessment of the council’s current office accommodation.
Its new agile working policies mean far less space is needed for its day-to-day operations and made the spiralling costs of maintaining, heating and improving its current home – Wigston’s Bushloe House – untenable.
Planning permission was granted in June and OWBC’s Full Council has now given the final go-ahead after revising its budget to take the project through to completion. Bushloe House will be sold with the proceeds invested into the renovation of Brocks Hill.
Once work is complete, Brocks Hill will be fit for purpose for up to 30 years and its use as its main offices will also significantly reduce the council’s carbon footprint. The agile working space will have room for up to a maximum of around 30 staff at any one time as well as a fully functioning Council Chamber that is flexible in its design so the room can be used for other council-business, community meetings and events.
The Brocks Hill site is already owned by the borough council and the country park would continue to be available to the public as usual during and after the renovation. A public café space and toilets will remain on site, although they will not be available while renovation work takes place.
Councillor John Boyce, Leader of OWBC, said: “Councils must be innovative, forward-thinking and brave in the current financial climate to ensure value for money is being achieved for residents – and this move to Brocks Hill is an example of exactly that.
“As a result of this innovation, projections show clearly that the council will be millions of pounds better off over the next 10 years alone – money that will be reinvested into the public services we offer every single day.
“On top of the cost saving element, Brocks Hill is a far greener building, vastly reducing the council’s carbon footprint, while also offering our staff far better health and wellbeing opportunities at a location surrounded by green space and next door to a leisure centre.
“We’re developing a new Customer Experience Strategy which complements our plans and ensures that the way the council operates into the future meets the demands and needs of all of our customers and residents.”
Work could start at Brocks Hill as early as next month (August) and is anticipated to be complete in Spring 2023.