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By Tristan Harris Wednesday 26 February 2014 Updated: 27/02 23:40
WORK will begin next month on the new £6.9million civic centre on the site of Bromsgrove's former Parkside School.
The building will house offices for both Bromsgrove District and Worcestershire County council staff, along with the town's library, registration service, JobCentre Plus and customer service centre.
The Parkside site was deemed the most suitable option for the new civic centre after a review of public sector buildings and redevelopment opportunities in Bromsgrove town centre.
The work will be split into two sections - the first will see the existing building - which has a floor area of 2,400 metres squared - be revamped and the second will be the creation of an extension. That will measure 1,350 metres squared.
As the existing building is Grade 2 listed, the project team has worked closely with English Heritage and the district conservation officer to ensure the plans have been developed sympathetically to the site and its surroundings.
Thomas Vale Construction has been appointed as contractors on the project, which is part of the £180 million West Midlands Contractor Framework.
Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Roger Hollingworth, said it was a important stage of the town centre regeneration programme and followed the High Street improvements which got underway last week.
"When Parkside is finished it will join the other success that we have seen in the last couple of years which include the police and fire station and the medical centre.
"This demonstrates that by working together, we can utilise and develop the town’s historic buildings to benefit residents, businesses and visitors.
"It will really revitalise the area, increase the footfall on the High Street and go towards building a better Bromsgrove like we have always promised.”
Coun Anthony Blagg, Worcestershire County Council's member for Bromsgrove Central, said he had championed development on the site since 2005 and was delighted work would at last be getting underway.
He said it was a great example of the county and district authorities working together and sharing public sector buildings and added it would make it easier for residents to access a variety of services in one location.
"The project will also contribute to our property savings targets by releasing assets for sale, reducing operating costs and delivering revenue savings," he said.
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