Council office sale moves ahead

The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House being demolished.
The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House being demolished.
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Town hall chiefs hope to have sealed the sale of a former office site.

An offer for the land at the junction of Westgate Road and Squires Gate Lane, in South Shore, has been accepted by Blackpool Council.

The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House being demolished.

The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House being demolished.

The revenue will go towards the £20m cost of new council offices being built as part of the Talbot Gateway Central Business District.

The council refused to reveal how much the site was being sold for, or to name the purchaser, but in March last year an offer of £850,000 was received with a six-month option on whether to proceed with the sale.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “The council has made it clear throughout the process of procuring the Talbot Gateway development, that some buildings which were not fit for purpose and surplus to requirements would be sold.

“Westgate House was no longer an efficient council office, not least as it cost too much money to run. As a result the building was knocked down last year and we are currently in discussions to sell that plot of land.

“Contract negotiations for the plot are still ongoing so I am unable to give future details at this time.”

Following the council’s latest marketing of the site, four offers were received and a report to councillors says the highest one has been accepted.

It adds: “The closure was in line with the office accommodation strategy in view of the impending move to the Central Business District.”

At one time around 244 staff worked in Westgate House but since March 2011 they have been relocated to other sites, mainly Progress House in Marton.

The site lies within Fylde Council’s planning jurisdiction, and there are currently planning applications in the pipeline for housing on other land in the immediate area.

Work to build the new council offices is now well underway and staff are due to move in next year.

Staff will also be relocated from Progress House eventually, and that site will also be put on the market some time in the future.

As part of the Central Business District, a new Sainsbury’s supermarket is also being built and the Talbot Road multi-storey car park is being fully refurbished.

A new road layout, including a new public square, is also part of the ambitious regeneration scheme.

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