Wokingham Borough Council Agrees Potential Move Out of Shute End

29 Sep 2023
Picture of shute end with text Wokingham Borough Council Executive Committee agrees potential move out of shute end

Wokingham Borough Council Executive Committee agreed at their meeting on 28 September 2023 to consider relocating to an alternative site in order to make more efficient use of its assets and provide more energy efficient office space in line with their Climate Emergency Action Plan.

 

The Council continues to face significant budget pressures. In order to ensure it can continue to invest in important front line services for residents,particularly those most in need, it has undertaken a review of its own property portfolio. Following the COVID pandemic the current office provision of 800 desks at Shute End far exceeds maximum daily occupancy of less than 30% of desks occupied. Despite consolidating down to two floors, there remains the opportunity to further reduce the operating costs, as well as provide capital from the disposal of unrequired assets. Additionally, future costs in order to ensure the building is compliant with the Modern Energy Efficient Standards are inevitable. The Executive Committee reviewed a report assessing three different options against a number of financial and non-financial criteria and agreed to proceed with a feasibility assessment of moving to the property at 28-38 Peach Street (currently occupied by the charity retail outlet Forces Support) as well as an assessment of any opportunities for leasing a third-party owned property. A cost-benefit analysis of these opportunities against a move to 28-38 Peach Street will be undertaken in order to inform a decision.

 

Stephen Conway, Leader of Wokingham Borough Council said “At a time of unprecedented financial pressure, it is imperative the council looks to its own assets to ensure we are maximising the available budget we have to invest in services for our residents, particularly those in most need. Additionally we need to ensure we are providing a workplace suitable for the future needs of our employees and one that meets our own criteria for energy efficiency. Relocating to another council-owned property looks to offer a great opportunity for cost and energy savings, as well as keeping footfall and spending power in the town centre. We will, of course, continue to review ongoing assessments of the proposed new building as well as alternatives.”