A new civic building earmarked to save taxpayers £40m is on target to open next year as planned.
The Civic Hub, overlooking the Queens Gardens in Newcastle, will bring together services from the borough council, county council and police under one roof in the heart of the town centre.
And it was revealed today that the four storey building will officially be named Castle House. It is being designed so that the different organisations can work alongside each other where helpful and it will also house a new, state-of-the-art library on the ground floor.
Speaking at a small ceremony to mark the completion of the first phase of construction by Kier, Ian Parry, deputy leader of Staffordshire County Council and cabinet member for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said:
The hub is a major collaboration for the benefit of taxpayers and I’m delighted to say it’s on schedule to be delivered on time late next summer.
Concentrating so many public services in one place will make it easier for residents and save taxpayers around £40 million over the building’s lifespan, compared to the running costs of the older buildings it replaces.
It makes it easier for different organisations to work alongside each other and bringing so many people together inside the ring road will boost the town centre economy.”
Once the £15.4 million project is complete, staff from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council will move from their existing headquarters, which will become part of the site earmarked for the £27.1 million Ryecroft retail and student accommodation development.
Elizabeth Shenton, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said:
This is a very significant chapter in the ongoing development of Newcastle’s town centre.
As well as the financial benefits it will bring, the new public sector hub will pave the way for the revitalisation of the Ryecroft site and lead to hundreds of new jobs.”
Matthew Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, said:
We have invested £1.705m into the Newcastle Civic Hub to bring together policing and other critical public services in a purpose-built building which will see agencies working much closer together. This is all about different services sharing costs in order to save money and put it back into frontline policing
I’ve said from the start that we need to get services working better together in order to stop problems before they happen and this move not only provides better value for money for the taxpayer but keeps local police services in the heart of the community.”
Peter Commins, Director of Kier Construction Northern, said:
The Newcastle Hub project was procured via the Penda Property Partnership which is a Public/Private Joint Venture between Staffordshire CC and Kier Limited.
This project is a fantastic example of how the public and private sector can work together to kick start developments which will ultimately benefit the local taxpayer and the local economy and being a local resident myself it is something I am particularly proud to be associated with.”