Thursday, October 25, 2018

News: Closure on the cards for Council building

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A prominent Council building on the edge of Rotherham town centre could be closed under new budget savings proposals.

Bailey House, previously home to catalogue business, Grattans, was maintained by the authority when other town centre buildings were vacated, demolished and sold when the £60m Riverside House building opened in 2011.

Now a proposal has been put forward by the Regeneration and Environment directorate, which used to house over 500 staff at Bailey House, as part of asset management and property savings worth around £570,000 over the next two years.

Council papers show that closing the three storey building on Rawmarsh Road / Greasbrough Road would save £50,000 in 2020/21. It currently costs the authority in the region of £328,199 per annum.

The paper states: "Currently there are a number of services being delivered from Bailey House which include records management, elections, corporate post and print facility, stores and Streetpride town centre team. Alternative provision would have to be found to support these services going forward."

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In 2011, the authority approved a £1.5m revamp of Bailey House to create an Ancillary Services Building to house departments and functions that would not be re-located to Riverside House. Proposals were amended when it was decided to locate the Yorks & Lancaster Regimental Museum at Clifton Park.

The 96,000 sq ft building was also previously used as the town's registry office with the Bailey Suite available for functions.

Rotherham Council has recently been successful in an bid into the Government's One Public Estate Programme which includes a review of storage requirements across the Sheffield city region. The Council anticipates that alternative provision would be found to manage the storage requirements across the region allowing the closure of Bailey House.

Back in 2008, developers TCN secured a five year exclusivity agreement with the Council to develop vacant land following the disposal of Council buildings. Nine sites, including Bailey House, were included but the focus of development was on the creation of the £40m Tesco Extra store on Drummond Street.

The building is named after Rotherham-born engineer Sir Donald Bailey whose ingenious bridge designs played a key role in shortening World War II.

This year, Rotherham Council intends to set a two-year budget for the first time in order to help deal with a further £30m of required savings.

Business related savings put forward during the process include increasing rents at RiDO business centres, the introduction of paid for pre-inspection food hygiene inspections, and privatising the cafe operation at Riverside House and reducing its size. Plans are also being developed for introducing an automatic car parking system at Rother Valley Country Park.

Images: Google Maps

2 comments:

Anonymous,  October 25, 2018 at 12:59 PM  

Could this building possibly be converted/redeveloped into a larger theatre for town,means as the muted new theatre on Forge Island seems to.have been.dropped?

Roy Herbert October 25, 2018 at 9:55 PM  

Agree with this, the land is already in council possession, should not restrict the size of the theatre and will not affect the forge island development plans, And parking available in the newly revamped bus station win-win!

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