How will the work be paid for?
The work will be funded from Shropshire Council’s ‘capital budget’. This is money that legally can only be spent or invested on assets and infrastructure projects and not on the direct provision of council services. Any money earned or saved as a result of a capital project can then be added to the council’s ‘revenue budget’ to help fund key frontline council services.
Stage 1 and stage 2 work
At stage 1 the consultants recommended a significant investment to address the problems with the building and achieve the desired project objectives.
It was agreed that a sum of £300,000 should be added to the capital programme to enable the project to proceed to stage 2, which would provide significantly increased certainty around the project costs and the business case.
Activities carried out in stage 2 included:
- Due diligence on the existing building, in the form of technical surveys and research into existing systems
- Concept designs for the building and the external areas and spatial planning
- The preparation of a workplace strategy, based on the emerging policies and aspirations around transformation and agile working, as well as good practice
- Discussions with third parties to identify letting opportunities
- Consultation with directors, officers, councillors and other key stakeholders
- Financial modelling and work to build the business case for the project
- Early work on establishing the BREEAM and sustainability principles and options for carbon reduction and energy saving
- Early work on a parking strategy
Shrewsbury town centre consideration
Before submitting the report to full council for approval, the opportunity was taken to pause the work briefly to consider the opportunity presented by the purchase of the shopping centres to relocate the civic hub in the town centre.
A report was commissioned to evaluate the Shirehall Redevelopment Project against the potential of other new build options in Shrewsbury town centre. Its purpose was to assess the viability of the project in the context of Shropshire Council’s wider estate, and ask whether the Shirehall refurbishment proposal is the most sustainable and effective solution.
The outcome of the appraisal demonstrated at a high level that Shirehall remains the most cost effective, lowest risk and quickest option to deliver.