Derbyshire council set to rent out part of HQ to plug budget gap

Amber Valley Borough Council building, Ripley.
Amber Valley Borough Council building, Ripley.

Amber Valley Borough Council is set to rent out part of its own headquarters in order to plug a gap in its budget.

The authority’s HQ lies in the centre of Ripley next to the old town hall – with a connecting bridge link between the two.

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It holds the vast majority of its council meetings in the town hall’s main chamber.

Now it is set to place 15,544 square feet of its headquarters on the open market.

The borough council was asked whether it was considering moving to downsized headquarters in future, but did not respond.

A report on the decision, written by the council’s executive director for resources, Sylvia Delahey, is set to be debated by the authority’s cabinet on Wednesday, February 13.

At this stage, the authority has not stated or put a restriction on what uses it would accept for the advertised space.

The report states: “The under-utilisation of the HQ building needs to be addressed.

“The council has a number of assets which are under-utilised and in order to address the budget deficit the assets need to generate income to help cover the operational costs.

“The council has considered a number of options for the Headquarters over the last 10 years which have included leasing the Old Town Hall, letting the vacant space in the headquarters building to the county council and disposing of the car park on Cromford Road for development.”

The county council has told the authority that it would not be looking to take on any additional space until after its next review in March 2023.

To begin with, the authority is seeking to rent out the space without any alterations being made.

However, this could change, or the space could be split into separate lots, if there is “no commercial demand”.

The council is set to review any offers, or lack of offers, for the advertised space in October.

So far, the authority, after looking at quotes from five different marketing agents, has earmarked an initial cost of £800 to put the space up for rent.

It has not stated what the potential rental price of the space would be.

The authority is forging ahead with efforts to save £3.6 million from its budget by 2020.

It has already achieved half of this and is looking to save the remaining £1.8 million.

The council’s total budget is £52.1 million.