Sale talks begin for Ipswich Register Office
- Credit: Jason Noble LDRS
The region's registrars office is to be sold off - but ceremonies will continue there in the short term while a new town centre base is found.
Suffolk County Council confirmed talks are underway with potential buyers for St Peter House, in Grimwade Street.
The 22 members of staff are set to move to the council's headquarters in Endeavour House in 2022 to process registrations of births, death, marriages and civil ceremonies.
The ceremony room at St Peter House will remain in use for the short term while a new facility in the town centre is finalised.
Councillor Andrew Reid, cabinet member for public health, public protection and communities, said: "This is planned to be a prestigious location, close to hospitality venues, with the move to take place next year.
“Once the new location and timescales have been agreed we will be contacting all couples with pre-existing bookings, and if any are not happy that the new venue is suitable, we will be happy to offer to refund their deposit.
“Ceremonies will continue to take place at St Peter House until the move to a new ceremony room takes place, with current arrangements still in place.
The authority confirmed the move in September with reports citing anti-social behaviour in the area as the reason for the move but later moved to explain it was because the building was no longer fit for purpose.
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Cllr Reid said: “We are close to finishing the new office location at Endeavour House, and the office functions of the registrars service in Ipswich are likely to move in early 2022.
“Once the move takes place, all registration of birth, death and notice of marriage/civil partnership appointments will be carried out at Endeavour House, which will also offer a walk-in reception service and more modern facilities.
“It will also be fully accessible giving improved access for all our customers, as well as there being more parking options available close by.
“We are currently in discussions with a potential purchaser of St Peter House, once the move of the registrars service is complete.”