County Hall up for offers

FOR sale signs are set to go up outside County Hall before Christmas.Suffolk County Council's big move to Endeavour House is on time and on budget.And its current headquarters is set to hit the market to help pay for the costs of the move.

FOR sale signs are set to go up outside County Hall before Christmas.

Suffolk County Council's big move to Endeavour House is on time and on budget.

And its current headquarters is set to hit the market to help pay for the costs of the move.

Social services director Anthony Douglas is the man in charge of the relocation.


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He said: "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster project. It's one of the fastest projects the county council has had to deliver.

"We've only had a year from the time of buying it until the time we're moving in."

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Councillors voted unanimously to take over Endeavour House after the collapse of energy giants TXU left it without a tenant.

The multi-million pound state-of-the-art office at the heart of the proposed Ipswich Village project will now house the majority of the council's staff.

And although it will make no difference to the burden borne by council tax payers, Mr Douglas is promising they will see the benefit of better services.

He said: "People will work more efficiently across the county council. Children's services will be working together with education.

"As will regulation and enforcement and knowledge and learning.

"People will get much more efficiency from us."

As well as seeing benefits from having everyone under one roof, council chiefs are also looking forward to savings on running inefficient old buildings like County Hall.

Mr Douglas said there had been no indication as to what will move into the stately old place, but he expects a mixture of housing and office accommodation.

He also refused to speculate on the eventual price tag any potential developers will have to meet, merely promising tax payers the best possible deal will be secured.

The project is running to schedule, which should see all staff moved in and settled down by the end of April.

Before that can happen, decades of clutter is being cleared from current offices and staff are getting used to the idea of losing their offices for a new open-plan environment.

Mr Douglas believes that new structure will be at the heart of a new way of working within the council.

And he believes even the most sceptical members of the public will, in time, come to see Endeavour House as a real symbol of modern Ipswich.

He said: "Our argument is that we are building for the future. We will be there for 50 years or more and it will help us become an excellent county council."

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