Peek at £24m Wiltshire County Hall revamp

Wiltshire Times: Cllr John Thomson, Times reporter Mike Wilkinson, Wiltshire Council project manager Mark Butt and Wiltshire Council’s head of transformation Mark Stone Cllr John Thomson, Times reporter Mike Wilkinson, Wiltshire Council project manager Mark Butt and Wiltshire Council’s head of transformation Mark Stone

A £24 million regeneration of County Hall in Trowbridge will finish within budget and on time, Wiltshire Council has said, as the first phase nears completion.

Trowbridge Library, currently opposite County Hall, will close at the end of August and a new library with 1,000 sq ft of floor space will be unveiled.

A vast new courtyard at the heart of County Hall, covered by a glass roof, will become a cafe and meeting point for council workers and the public.

Cllr John Thomson, deputy leader of the council, said: “I am pleased to say that it will not only be on time, but it will also be under budget.

“This is one of the biggest investments in Trowbridge in recent years and what we want to do is really open up County Hall to the public as much as possible, so people will be able to come in here and go to the library, then enjoy a coffee or a spot of lunch.

“It will also be a nicer setting for council workers to come down from the office when meeting the public. It will encourage them to mix in a more social and relaxing atmosphere.”

The space will be available for hire for conferences and wedding receptions. A registry desk will be installed in one corner, to make way for the closure of the Trowbridge Register Office.

Phase one will be done by September, then phase two will run until the same time in 2013.

Until now, council meetings have had to be held elsewhere because of a lack of disabled access to the council chamber, but that will be remedied.

Project manager Mark Butt, of Wiltshire Council, said: “We want this to be one of the greenest public buildings in the country. The building will collect rainwater and its design will mean that it will use 40 per cent less energy.

“It is always a fine balance between trying to design a building which incorporates well with the older part of County Hall and being as green as possible.”

It will be an open plan design throughout, with 20,000 sq m of office space, while the glass roof has been likened to that of the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Comments (11)

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12:49pm Fri 23 Mar 12

WiseOldWoman says...

I am speechless...apart from: what a stupendous waste of money!
I am speechless...apart from: what a stupendous waste of money! WiseOldWoman
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Fri 23 Mar 12

Wiltshire100 says...

24 Million pounds, I thought the council had no money, if they have so much they could of stopped Trowbridge Town Council putting the council tax up when every other service has frozen there budget no doubt to pay for their new offices in the Civic Centre. This money should of been spent on improving the town. Its nice to see that teh council workers will have somewhere to meet!! The council should be ashamed of spending so much public money after cutting staff. I imagine Jane Scott will also have anice offic eout of it.
24 Million pounds, I thought the council had no money, if they have so much they could of stopped Trowbridge Town Council putting the council tax up when every other service has frozen there budget no doubt to pay for their new offices in the Civic Centre. This money should of been spent on improving the town. Its nice to see that teh council workers will have somewhere to meet!! The council should be ashamed of spending so much public money after cutting staff. I imagine Jane Scott will also have anice offic eout of it. Wiltshire100
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Fri 23 Mar 12

Marrytime says...

WiseOldWoman wrote:
I am speechless...apart from: what a stupendous waste of money!
You failed to submit your alternative.i
[quote][p][bold]WiseOldWoman[/bold] wrote: I am speechless...apart from: what a stupendous waste of money![/p][/quote]You failed to submit your alternative.i Marrytime
  • Score: 0

8:19pm Fri 23 Mar 12

Marrytime says...

wiltshire100 wrote "I imagine Jane Scott will have a nice office"

there is no such thing as a nice office at County Hall
wiltshire100 wrote "I imagine Jane Scott will have a nice office" there is no such thing as a nice office at County Hall Marrytime
  • Score: 0

11:42pm Fri 23 Mar 12

moonrakin wurzel says...

Head of Transformation - wassat then?

What is it with councils dreaming up job titles that make them look like ... well.. non-jobs?

On the subject of "being green" - Just for the sake of completeness - why isn't the building using ground source heating and why isn't there a combined heat and power plant?

Fail - go back to the end of the queue.
Head of Transformation - wassat then? What is it with councils dreaming up job titles that make them look like ... well.. non-jobs? On the subject of "being green" - Just for the sake of completeness - why isn't the building using ground source heating and why isn't there a combined heat and power plant? Fail - go back to the end of the queue. moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 0

9:23am Sat 24 Mar 12

brasstacks says...

Is this spending yet another example of Politics before People ?
I hope that the dosh that comes back in when Wilts Council sell off the buildings they are closing down (now they have their new "pad") will be shown on their finances and used to help some of the Disabled people who they refused Care Services to last week ?
Eligibility for Care is apparently now being carried out in interviews over the phone as a "new policy" of Wilts Council.
John Thompson's Pension Fund may well pay for his retirement or his being too sick or disabled to work. For many others in Wiltshire there is not just uncertainty about getting Council help there is simply no hope because of appalling spending by Wilts Council for image and possible political intent.
Is this spending yet another example of Politics before People ? I hope that the dosh that comes back in when Wilts Council sell off the buildings they are closing down (now they have their new "pad") will be shown on their finances and used to help some of the Disabled people who they refused Care Services to last week ? Eligibility for Care is apparently now being carried out in interviews over the phone as a "new policy" of Wilts Council. John Thompson's Pension Fund may well pay for his retirement or his being too sick or disabled to work. For many others in Wiltshire there is not just uncertainty about getting Council help there is simply no hope because of appalling spending by Wilts Council for image and possible political intent. brasstacks
  • Score: 0

9:34am Sat 24 Mar 12

moonrakin wurzel says...

brasstacks wrote:
Is this spending yet another example of Politics before People ?
I hope that the dosh that comes back in when Wilts Council sell off the buildings they are closing down (now they have their new "pad") will be shown on their finances and used to help some of the Disabled people who they refused Care Services to last week ?
Eligibility for Care is apparently now being carried out in interviews over the phone as a "new policy" of Wilts Council.
John Thompson's Pension Fund may well pay for his retirement or his being too sick or disabled to work. For many others in Wiltshire there is not just uncertainty about getting Council help there is simply no hope because of appalling spending by Wilts Council for image and possible political intent.
Sell off buildings ? ho-ho - probably end up like the loads of other "Transformed Trowbridge" sites inhabitants are so familiar with - empty, dilapidated and covered in "street art"
[quote][p][bold]brasstacks[/bold] wrote: Is this spending yet another example of Politics before People ? I hope that the dosh that comes back in when Wilts Council sell off the buildings they are closing down (now they have their new "pad") will be shown on their finances and used to help some of the Disabled people who they refused Care Services to last week ? Eligibility for Care is apparently now being carried out in interviews over the phone as a "new policy" of Wilts Council. John Thompson's Pension Fund may well pay for his retirement or his being too sick or disabled to work. For many others in Wiltshire there is not just uncertainty about getting Council help there is simply no hope because of appalling spending by Wilts Council for image and possible political intent.[/p][/quote]Sell off buildings ? ho-ho - probably end up like the loads of other "Transformed Trowbridge" sites inhabitants are so familiar with - empty, dilapidated and covered in "street art" moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Tue 27 Mar 12

New 2 Trow says...

The works are being done to accomodate all staff from Bradley Road and Browfort, these sites will the be sold off probably making a nice profit and thats not counting the savings associated with running one large site as opposed to three smaller ones. Savings can then be reinvested in front line services
The works are being done to accomodate all staff from Bradley Road and Browfort, these sites will the be sold off probably making a nice profit and thats not counting the savings associated with running one large site as opposed to three smaller ones. Savings can then be reinvested in front line services New 2 Trow
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Tue 27 Mar 12

moonrakin wurzel says...

New 2 Trow wrote:
The works are being done to accomodate all staff from Bradley Road and Browfort, these sites will the be sold off probably making a nice profit and thats not counting the savings associated with running one large site as opposed to three smaller ones. Savings can then be reinvested in front line services
It's unlikely that the sites will sell for much - the market is dead , stone dead. It'll be a fire sale and the only buyers will be even more uninspired housing developers packing them in (the council will have to guarantee planning approval to seal the sale) and looking much the same as the rest of it...

Savings and local government aren't words normally found in the same sentence - profit? you say? Peculation isn't profit - at all - look it up.
[quote][p][bold]New 2 Trow[/bold] wrote: The works are being done to accomodate all staff from Bradley Road and Browfort, these sites will the be sold off probably making a nice profit and thats not counting the savings associated with running one large site as opposed to three smaller ones. Savings can then be reinvested in front line services[/p][/quote]It's unlikely that the sites will sell for much - the market is dead , stone dead. It'll be a fire sale and the only buyers will be even more uninspired housing developers packing them in (the council will have to guarantee planning approval to seal the sale) and looking much the same as the rest of it... Savings and local government aren't words normally found in the same sentence - profit? you say? Peculation isn't profit - at all - look it up. moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 0

6:42am Fri 30 Mar 12

MrG says...

Funny as last time I spoke to them they told me they did not have enough staff and there computer system had been down for a month.
I think they are irresponsible to waste money like this.
I believe the expression is
POLISHING A TURD!!

Seems like maybe they have yet to approve the cinema complex as they wish to hold the title of "biggest investments in Trowbridge in recent years"
Funny as last time I spoke to them they told me they did not have enough staff and there computer system had been down for a month. I think they are irresponsible to waste money like this. I believe the expression is POLISHING A TURD!! Seems like maybe they have yet to approve the cinema complex as they wish to hold the title of "biggest investments in Trowbridge in recent years" MrG
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Fri 30 Mar 12

Marrytime says...

who were them/they you spoke to? Was it several individuals or was it the Council (which is singular)?
who were them/they you spoke to? Was it several individuals or was it the Council (which is singular)? Marrytime
  • Score: 0

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