Plan to share council offices in Lowestoft takes major step forward

Lowestoft Town Hall, High Street, Lowestoft.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Town Hall, High Street, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

A major plan to share to relocate Waveney District and Suffolk Council staff onto a shared site in Lowestoft took an important step forward tonight.

Waveney’s cabinet approved setting aside £6.8m for the creation of a shared office space on Riverside Road with the county council.

Both councils are based in 10 buildings in the town, including the town hall and the sites are said by councils to be unfit for purpose for the 21st century due to their condition.

To help save up to £3m in running and maintenance costs over a 10 year period the councils want to re-locate to a piece of land by Lake Lothing that had meant to be the home of Waveney Campus project, which was ditched three years.

As well as creating a shared office space, which would include a council chamber and a cafeteria, it is hoped the project will regenerate large parts of Lowestoft as former council sites are developed into other uses.

The Riverside Road accommodation project would also see the Marina Centre kept for customer services.

As well as approving the £6.8m, which is due to be match funded by the county council, Waveney’s cabinet agreed to form a joint all party committee with its counterpart to manage and oversee the procurement and construction of the project, which could also see carbon emissions from both council reduced by up to 70pc.

Waveney owns the land for the proposed shared offices and councillors heard other organisations may be interested in moving into the area of land there once the project is finished.

The £53m Waveney Campus would have been a shared headquarters for both councils and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, but it was halted due to challenging economic conditions.

Tonight’s cabinet also agreed to set aside £440,000 to carry out work to improve the foundation of 170m of seawall between Lowestoft’s South Pier and Claremont Pier as the structure was at risk of failure due to increasing erosion.

As well as prevent the undermining of the flint seawall, the work will also see work to improve adjacent groynes.

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