Five years ago Harrogate Borough Council began to look at how, in years to come, we could continue to work efficiently and at the same time still deliver quality services that have high levels of customer satisfaction.
We knew that to achieve this we needed to look at the way we currently worked, and the offices we currently worked from.
Having staff spread across five sites in Harrogate, in buildings that for the most part weren’t suitable for 21st Century ways of working, with five different reception points, five sets of business rates and five sets of utility bills was both impractical and uneconomical.
In July 2015 following extensive research, consultation and discussion with residents, businesses and other organisations in the district, the council decided to build a new civic headquarters on its Knapping Mount site in Harrogate.
The new headquarters will include energy efficient office space and a purpose built customer service centre. It will allow the council to offer better customer services and maximise staff efficiency, as well as saving around £1 million on current running costs.
For more information on the background to the project please see the link to the council’s website: The new Harrogate Civic Headquarters
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DATE PRESS RELEASE ISSUED: Monday 19 October 2015
Work set to begin on building new council headquarters
Preliminary site work has begun on the creation of new headquarters for Harrogate Borough Council.
Yorkshire based Harry Fairclough Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the project, which will see a purpose-built, energy efficient building constructed at the council’s Knapping Mount site.
The early work, which is expected to last for six weeks, will involve preparing the site so that demolition work can begin. Fencing will be erected so that the site is safely cordoned off and two site offices will be installed. Demolition of the current buildings will take place between November and December, so that construction of the new headquarters can commence in the new year. The new building is expected to be completed in spring 2017.
The new energy efficient offices, which have been designed by Yorkshire based architects Farrell and Clark, will see council services operating from a single site rather than five separate locations. This will allow the council to offer better customer services and maximise staff efficiency by reducing duplication, sharing resources and streamlining processes and management arrangements. Moving to the new offices will see annual efficiency savings of around £1 million. The move will also provide a platform to drive further operating improvements in the future.
Residents and businesses in the immediate area will shortly receive a letter to advise them of the work that is being undertaken and will also include information about a project blog, which will provide regular updates on the construction work throughout the build, and can be found at: www.harrogatecivichq.com.
Councillor Graham Swift is Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise. He said: “The creation of new council headquarters is a momentous occasion for Harrogate Borough Council. The move will allow us to improve on the service we offer our customers and provide long term savings for the council tax payer.
“We are keen for residents to be kept informed about progress and as such a blog has been created by the lead contractor Harry Fairclough Construction which will be frequently updated with information and will provide the opportunity for people to ask questions about the project.
“This project has been many years in the making, and I am delighted that we will shortly begin creating offices which will have far reaching benefits for the whole of the district.”
David Jones, Managing Director of the Yorkshire division of Harry Fairclough said: “We are excited to get started on this iconic project that will provide an energy efficient, inspirational working environment for Harrogate Borough Council’s employees. We will be engaging local trades on the build and look forward to working closely with the Harrogate community.”
Paul Jagger, partner at architects Farrell and Clark said: “”It has been an inspiration working so closely with the team at Harrogate Borough Council to create this new facility for the people of the Harrogate district and we are thrilled that preliminary site work is now underway”.
Further information about the reasons behind the building of the new council offices can be found by going to www.harrogate.gov.uk/cpi/Pages/new-Harrogate-Civic-Headquarters.aspx
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