More jobs from council move?

PUBLISHED: 11:10 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

NORTH Somerset Council's proposed move to Clevedon's Castlewood offices could bring many more jobs to the town than first thought.

NORTH Somerset Council's proposed move to Clevedon's Castlewood offices could bring many more jobs to the town than first thought.

The Times understands there has previously been planning permission for two more buildings of the same size at the Tickenham Road site.

This could mean future potential for North Somerset Council to develop the site and take on more tenants, creating more jobs.

In papers published by North Somerset Council, one sentence reads "it is believed the owner had plans at one time to construct two further buildings equal to the existing premises and the site therefore affords great flexibility and a number of potential options for accommodation".

The decision on whether to move hundreds of council jobs from satellite offices to Clevedon is due to be made tonight (Thurs) following the cancellation of last week's meeting as due to severe weather.

It is thought the council's executive has lowered the amount it expects to spend on the move from £16million to £14.6million, which is not thought to include VAT and stamp duty, and council chiefs expect the relocation to provide annual savings of £64,000 over 25 years.

The council claims attracting tenants to use some of the office space could also raise up to £125,000 in the first year.

One such tenant could be the district's health organisation, which currently has three offices in Clevedon.

NHS North Somerset chief executive Chris Born has revealed he is due to enter discussions with the authority over using part of the existing offices.

In a statement, Mr Born said: "When North Somerset Council has made a formal announcement, we anticipate holding discussions with them as to whether we wish to use part of the building.

"We can see great benefit to being co-located with the council as a lot of our work is done in collaboration with their departments."

Another potential tenant is Avon and Somerset police, which has headquarters in Portishead.

However, according to chief superintendent Chris Weigold nothing has yet been discussed.

It has even been mooted that Clevedon Library may move into the Castlewood buildings, despite the existing Old Church Road building being refurbished last year at a cost of £200,000.

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