Detailed plans will be drawn up to move the headquarters of Northumberland County Council from Morpeth. The council's preferred option is to build a new, smaller HQ in Ashington.
Even though the two towns are just a few miles apart, the proposal has prompted strong reactions in both communities.
In Morpeth, many people are concerned the departure of County Hall will reduce vital job opportunities.
Four miles down the road in Ashington, the proposal to relocate the council headquarters there has been met with delight. Among those welcoming the idea is Sir John Hall, who chairs the umbrella group, Ashington Town Team. He says the move would help to kickstart its economic revival.
The Ashington proposal is part of a much wider regeneration plans for the former mining town, including a new leisure centre.
The Labour leader of Northumberland County Council says the new, smaller HQ would save the authority millions of pounds in running costs. Cllr Grant Davey says the council would also utilise other buildings across the county, in towns such as Hexham, Blyth and Alnwick.
Cllr Davey says it makes sense to base the HQ in South East Northumberland, as it has the largest concentration of population in Northumberland.
"This is where we should be", he commented.
Some, though, believe the council is favouring Labour's urban heartlands.
Detailed plans will now be drawn up for the proposed move. Decisions are expected in the autumn.
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