More cash needed for County Hall revamp

Cash-strapped council chiefs have been told they need to find £4m for '˜urgent' work to maintain their County Hall headquarters.

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 10:29 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:05 am
County Hall
County Hall

It comes as Lancashire County Council is in the middle of a £3.6m renovation to modernise the building, in Preston, and fit more staff inside.

Next week the council’s deputy leader County Coun David Borrow will be asked to approve an immediate investment of £1.6m in the Victorian building.

Surveys revealed that, irrespective of the planned modernisation changes, major work is needed to remove asbestos, install emergency lighting and carry out essential work on electrical wiring and fire alarms.

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In a move to make it fit for purpose and enable the closure and sale of other council-owned buildings, work had been proceeding to create new office space within the property.

But a report going to next week’s Executive Scrutiny Committee reveals the council may be picking up the cost of years of ‘reactive maintenance’.

A new emergency stairwell is also needed because the number of workers is set to double to 3,000 as other buildings close.

The report adds that there have been limited repairs and maintenance on the building since 2005, with just £800,000 spent on ‘planned and reactive major maintenance’.