County council hopes for “substantial capital receipt” as it welcomes sale of Hereward Hall to Fenland Council

Hereward Hall

Hereward Hall - Credit: Archant

County council staff at Hereward Hall, March, will move out early in the New Year even though Fenland Council is yet to agree a deal to buy it.

The county council refuses to say how much Fenland Council will pay them but describes it as a “substantial capital receipt”.

Additionally the county council says it will save a further £103,000 a year on running costs of Hereward Hall.

The report outlining the proposed moves will be discussed by the general purposes committee of the county council on Tuesday.

“The leadership in both councils accept the status quo is not an option,” says the report.

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Putting Fenland Hall up for sale will be discussed in the coming weeks although some district councillors believe their proposed new offices will not be big enough.

But the county council reports explains that some district council staff could re-locate to Awdry House, Wisbech, their new £6.5million regional centres.

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Report author David Bethell says Fenland Hall “is inefficient to run with the building/site better suited to alternative uses”.

His report reveals that talks began a year ago with a business case being completed in July and presented to the chief executives of both councils.

Options that included retaining Fenland Hall and disposing of Hereward Hall and a second option of disposing of both and finding a new site were ruled out.

Mr Bethell’s report claims that both councils will achieve “significant revenue and capital benefits” from the proposals and it will be “a gain for the public sector as a whole”.

The report say that it would “start to accrue savings very quickly for both partners” should both councils agree to the sale.

Independent valuers have already being asked by both councils to work out a price for Hereward Hall but neither council has revealed the asking price.

Options for Fenland Hall include conversion to flats, business centre units or smaller offices.

The report insists local county councillors from March “have been, and will continue to be, informed of the project and project progress”; a decision by the district council is expected by the end of October.

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