New era starts for county council
TODAY marks the birth of a new era for Suffolk County Council.The first staff have moved into their new headquarters, Endeavour House, on Russell Road in the heart of the new Ipswich Village development.
TODAY marks the birth of a new era for Suffolk County Council.
The first staff have moved into their new headquarters, Endeavour House, on Russell Road in the heart of the new Ipswich Village development.
Over the next few weeks the entire building will be occupied – with the existing St Helens' Court offices being emptied by the end of April.
At the weekend the first desks and files were moved into the ground floor of the new building, which cost the council £18 million.
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It was originally being built for energy giant TXU Energi at a cost of approaching £35 million, but when that company crashed its new owner, Powergen, decided it did not need the half-built headquarters.
Suffolk County Council stepped in to buy the building at a knock-down price.
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It has taken more than a year to prepare the building – and the first people to set up inside were members of the council's facilities department, who are responsible for maintaining it and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
Their desks were moved in over the weekend and this morning they were unpacking and getting their offices ready.
Council leader Bryony Rudkin said today: "This is a very exciting day for the council – it's always exciting when you move home but this is a move unlike any other!
"We're going in over a number of weeks, the last people to go will be the councillors and staff from St Helen Court, we're due to be gone from there by April 23.
"But we have to remember that not all county council staff are moving in there, we will still have other offices around the county and there will be some people in other offices in the Ipswich area.
"We don't want them to feel any less valued because they're not moving – but yes, it is a big day for us."
Once the move has been completed, county council offices in the town centre will be sold for redevelopment.
The historic heart of county hall, St Helen Court, will be converted into flats or offices – but it is a listed building so the options are limited.
But some of the other buildings that have county council offices date back only to the 1950s and are in a poor state of repair and will almost certainly be demolished to allow the land to be redeveloped.
nAre you pleased to see the county council moving into Endeavour House? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org