Fancy a Fenland Hall address? That’s now possible after council rejects move to buy Hereward Hall but to let out spare rooms

Fenland Hall.

Fenland Hall. - Credit: Archant

Cabinet decided almost unanimously to keep Fenland Hall and to try and find tenants to utilise some of the empty space.

Hereward Hall

Hereward Hall - Credit: Archant

That 90 year old Fenland Hall in County Road, March, is in need of improvements has never been in doubt – estimated costs for example of replacing draughty windows has been put at £100,000.

But in the end councillors felt they couldn’t justify the purchase of the much newer (it was built in 2003) Hereward Hall which could also have left Fenland paying over a £1,000 a week in business rates for an empty Fenland Hall.

Chief executive Paul Medd told cabinet that the council had not been looking to move anyway but with the county pulling out of Hereward Hall it made sense to consider a business case for all options.

Hereward Hall was built to accommodate 112 workers – fewer that the 191 now working at Fenland Hall but with overall numbers declining it was still possible to make the move.

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Mr Medd also looked at the cost of building a chamber onto Hereward Hall for council meetings but this would have reduced the overall savings. Alternatively costings had been built in to hold bigger meetings at either of the council’s two business centres in Wisbech and Chatteris.

But Cabinet decided the council will remain at Fenland Hall and consider “options for finding other usages”. Letting out spare space could bring in up to £50,000 a year councillors were told.

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Councillors had also warned that if they voted to move to Hereward Hall, then it could be some time before any capital receipt could be expected from the sale of Fenland Hall. Demolishing it, as part of a possible housing scheme, would cost over £120,000.

“Therefore, the council would need to front fund any capital costs for this

period,” said Mr Medd. The details, he said, were included “in the confidential annexe”.

It also means Fenland Council won’t have to pay compensation to the ambulance service to move their depot from Fenland Hall.

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