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Shropshire Council still open to Shirehall sale

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Shropshire Council remains committed to moving out of Shirehall to new premises, its leader said today.

An aerial view of Shirehall, home to Shropshire Council

Councillor Keith Barrow said the authority has no choice but to move to a new building as part of a bid to save money.

The council's Conservative group leader said the current Shrewsbury building already needs several hundred thousands of pounds of repairs, with some areas not fit for use by staff.

He also pointed to the £1 million-a-year running costs on the building, which is home to 1,154 workers.

Councillor Barrow said: "We have got to move out of Shirehall. If we can sell Shirehall and move to new offices that cost a fraction to run, we would save the cost of a new building in four to five years.

"We need offices that do not cost an arm and a leg to run."

The council has been pressed over the fact that it pays £70,000 a year to rent Jupiter House at Shrewsbury Business Park for about 100 staff members.

Mr Barrow said that issues with Shirehall mean it cannot accommodate any more staff without expensive repairs being carried out.

He said: "In the one wing the roof is leaking and the cost to fix it is going to be £300,000 or more.

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"I would rather not spend that on a building we are looking to move out of."

Mr Barrow said that the design of the building means there is little that can be done to reduce the ongoing running costs.

He said: "It is a flat-roofed building with metal, single-glazed windows. Why would we spend money on a building we are trying to move out of?"

In 2013 Shropshire Council's chief executive Clive Wright said the authority was looking to sell off Shirehall as part of measures to cut a further £80 million from the authority's budget. Councillor Barrow said the building has not yet been marketed for sale but they would be open to offers.

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