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Work starts on Cambridgeshire County Council's new £18 million HQ

Burwell’s county councillor Josh Schumann joined Cambridgeshire’s civic leaders as they celebrated the start of work on the county authority’s new civic hub building in Alconbury Weald.

The £18.3m, 3,600sqm building, set in four acres of former brownfield land, will accommodate 350 desks along with formal meeting rooms and ancillary spaces, a public reception, a multi-purpose function room for council meetings, and political group meeting rooms.

An increased number of solar panels on the roof will provide a renewable energy source to improve the energy efficiency of the building, which will look to maximise use of renewable energy now and in the future.

Start of work on Cambs CC new headquarters (24603155)
Start of work on Cambs CC new headquarters (24603155)

The car park includes more than 20 spaces with electric car charging points, and below ground infrastructure ready to link up all spaces to electric charging points in the future.

“When you plan to spend £18.3m on developing a new building, it is right that a council such as ours which is dedicated to promoting local economy should make sure as much of this as possible is spent with local firms and developing local skills,” said Cllr Schumann, who is chairman of the council’s commercial and investment committee.

“I am thrilled that so far we are smashing our own target of spending at least 70 per cent of the budget with local firms and that even after we have covered the full cost of this new hub, we will still be able to re-invest a minimum of £45m into essential frontline services.”

The council is planning a café in its new headquarters to be run as a social enterprise, helping to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. And 95 per centof the first £6.6 million of orders placed by contractor R G Carter for the project so far have gone to businesses based less than 50 miles from the site.

The new building is expected to reduce the council’s building maintenance billfrom an annual £1.3m for Shire Hall to just £500k a year.

Around 600 staff will be moving from Shire Hall to be based full or part time in the building, with more than 700 others moving closer to the communities they serve in other offices around the county during 2020.

The lease of the six-acre Shire Hall site will release in excess of £45m for frontline services over the next 30 years, even after the costs of the new headquarters are covered.

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