Bulldozers move in at council site

The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House are being demolished as part of the re-location to the Talbot Gateway offices. PIC BY ROB LOCK'23-8-2011
The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House are being demolished as part of the re-location to the Talbot Gateway offices. PIC BY ROB LOCK'23-8-2011
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DEMOLITION work has begun on council offices which are no longer in use.

Bulldozers have moved onto the site of Westgate House on Squires Gate Lane in South Shore.

The 244 staff who worked in the Blackpool Council building have been relocated to other sites with the majority going to Progress House in Marton.

Others have moved to offices including at Blackpool Football Club’s Bloomfield Road stadium, and at the town hall.

There were 15 different departments based in the building including accounts, emergency planning, health and safety, ICT and licensing.

The land has already been put on the market.

The council is preparing to centralise staff in new offices which will be built as part of the £250m Talbot Gateway development around North Station.

Construction work is due to begin before the end of the year.

Outline plans for the regeneration scheme have been approved, but a detailed application for the new council offices is due to be submitted in the next two weeks.

The £28m cost of the new council offices is being met through the sale of other council buildings including Westgate House and eventually Progress House in Marton.

Workers started being relocated from Westgate House last year.

It is estimated moving out of the old buildings will save about £240,000 a year because the modern buildings will be cheaper to run.

A town hall spokesman said: “The decision was taken to demolish the office structure to reduce the cost of maintaining the building and to prevent vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“The council is consolidating individual offices into one modern, town centre site which is more economic.

“The multiple, older offices were no longer economically viable.

“The exciting Talbot Gateway project provides an ideal opportunity to modernise and change the council’s existing office requirements, so we have buildings fit for purpose, and that meet our needs.”