Suffolk Coastal District Council’s new headquarters in Melton were officially opened yesterday (Thursday, 15 June, 2017).
Over 100 guests were present to see the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, carry out the opening duties – amid praise for the design of the new building.
“Bringing this project home on time, within budget and to such a high specification, was a major achievement for the council,” said Suffolk Coastal’s Leader, Cllr Ray Herring, at the event.
“The fact we have achieved this without creating any extra tax burden on local people and now have offices that should create significant long-term saving for the tax payer – is something we can all be proud of.”
“Importantly, we have now got a modern, energy-efficient headquarters, which will enable us to continue to provide a high quality of service to local people. We have also proved that government buildings can be attractive, as well as being functional and providing good value for money!”
Staff moved into East Suffolk House in December 2016 and have settled in well to the new open-plan working environment.
The council’s old offices in Melton Hill, Woodbridge, have been sold, subject to contract, and the site will be used to create much-needed new homes for the town.
“We wanted to create a modern working environment, which is affordable, sustainable and compatible with Suffolk Coastal being an efficient and forward-thinking organisation. I think have succeeded.” said Cllr Herring.
The capital costs of the move are being covered by the money raised by the sale of Cedar House and the old headquarters in Melton Hill – so there was no need to raise extra taxes or go into debt.
By downsizing, Suffolk Coastal aims to significantly reduce its spending on the running costs of its headquarters. The move will save the Council, and the tax payer, an estimated £200,000 a year in running costs, rising to £500,000 a year in the longer term.