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County council could buy Ladywell House

Created on 24/11/2016 @ 10:57
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Newtown’s Ladywell House could be bought by Powys County Council as a new regional office base, MyNewtown has learned.

The office block, currently owned by the Welsh Government which has offices and staff based in the building, could be purchased as part of a consolidation of county council offices in north Powys.

The one could mean its existing Welshpool offices would close as a result. Existing offices and buildings in Newtown and other areas could also close and be sold off under the plans.

The county council has confirmed in a statement to MyNewtown that it is considering purchasing the building.

“The council is considering buying Ladywell House, in Newtown, as part of an overall strategy to reduce building ownership, stimulate economic regeneration and generate income to support the delivery of council services,” said a statement.
Cabinet Member for Property, Buildings and Housing Councillor Rosemarie Harris said; “Buying Ladywell House is part of long-term strategic plans for the council allowing us to dramatically reduce the number of buildings in the area, reducing overall running costs and providing an opportunity to raise capital through the sale of redundant buildings.
“The building is in a key location for service delivery and provides us with an opportunity to enter into a commercial agreement with others, both in the private and public sector, to lower running costs and stimulate economic activity.
“The building is 4300sq m with 1,200sq m vacant and the remaining 3,000sq m occupied by the Welsh Government on a long lease. The space allows us to future proof our operations by disposing of older buildings that are no longer fit for purpose.”
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Wynne Jones said: “It may come as a surprise to many that the county council is spending money on a building like Ladywell House at a time when the revenue budget in under such strain, but I must make it clear, this is a capital investment which offers a fantastic opportunity for the council, and the only impact on the council’s depleted revenue budget will be in a very positive way.
“The purchase will be supported by prudential borrowing, using the very low interest facilities currently available, supported by the existing substantial commercial lease income, the payback window is therefore extremely short.

“At same time the council will be able to reduce its revenue costs by vacating other buildings, with the potential of a substantial capital receipt from the future sale of some of the redundant buildings in the area.
“This is not only excellent opportunity for the council, but more importantly it’s a fantastic deal for the taxpayers of Powys, he added.”    

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