£850,000 offer for council offices site

The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House
The Blackpool Council offices at Westgate House
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COUNCIL offices look set to be sold for £850,000.

An offer has been made for the site of the former Westgate House on Squires Gate Lane in South Shore, which was demolished last August.

The revenue from the sale will go towards the cost of the council’s new £28m offices which will be built in 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 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.

Closing Westgate House has already saved the council £350,000 in the last financial year.

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A report to councillors says: “An offer for the freehold of the site has been received which is considered a good offer and delivers the best consideration for the site.

“Furthermore the sale is in line with the council’s accommodation strategy.”

However the deal is subject to a six-month option and will depend on issues such as planning approvals before it goes through.

The site lies within Fylde Council’s jurisdiction.

Coun Doug Green, who represents neighbouring Squires Gate war, said: “I don’t know what is going to happen to the site when it is sold, but I know my residents would prefer it to go for use as car parking.

“There have been terrible problems with workers from the children’s home on Stony Hill Avenue parking in the residential streets.”

Meanwhile, steps are being taken to find tenants for developments within the Central Business District, which is being developed around North Station.

Although building work has yet to begin, agents are being sought to market surplus accommodation in the council offices and retail space on the group floor of the Talbot Road multi-storey car park, which is also being refurbished as part of the £220m scheme.

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