Vacated properties save city council cash

These include major city centre leased buildings like Alpha Tower, 1 Victoria Square and 7/8, Waterloo Street together with a number of buildings in suburban areas.

Vacating these buildings means ending expensive leases and reducing ongoing property costs. The result is that in future years a full 12 month benefit of £3.843million of taxpayer’s money will be saved every year.

Overall the Working for the Future programme, a pivotal branch of the council’s Business Transformation scheme, will create savings of £100milllion over 25 years through consolidating the council’s office portfolio and creating improved, sustainable and more efficient workspace.

It aims to lead to an improvement in the delivery of council services to citizens, and is being done by vacating buildings with expensive leases, reducing the amount of office space used, improving retained buildings and developing new sites, all of which will ultimately help to reduce costs.

Cllr Randal Brew, Cabinet Member for Finance, said:

“Vacating buildings with expensive leases and providing staff with a modern working environment shows that the council is committed to operating in smarter ways.

“We are saving money, as we always said we would, which is fantastic for the taxpayer in these tough times.

“But even better still we are equipping staff with a more pleasant working environment in which they can deliver better services for citizens.”

Employees previously based in these offices have moved to the recently completed Lifford House, Stirchley, and 1 Lancaster Circus in central Birmingham, which accommodate approximately 650 and 2,000 employees respectively.

Another part of the Working for the Future programme is the construction of office space for 2,300 council employees at Woodcock Street in Aston, which has been awarded demonstration status by the West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence in recognition of the innovative and sustainable construction methods used. This is due for completion in autumn 2011.

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