Jersey's new government headquarters is set to cost around £90 million, ITV News can reveal.
The project, announced earlier this week, will see developers Dandara demolish the old public sector HQ at Cyril Le Marquand House and build a new one there.
Two other bidders, Le Masurier and the government-owned Jersey Development Company, also tendered for the work. The latter proposing to use a third building at the Finance Centre which already has planning permission for a headquarters.
But while the Dandara contract is still being finalised, it is already attracting political protest, with attempts to block the deal being worked up.
There has been no public discourse about this. Maybe the public won't find the location of the government office a particularly burning issue, but they do find housing a burning issue and they do care about how government uses their money and their assets. It's all about asking: 'Is the government making the right decision for the people of Jersey and for the long term future of Jersey?'
The government vacated Cyril Le Marquand House in 2019 and rented offices on Broad Street in St Helier at a cost of £1 million per year while the search for a new permanent HQ was underway.
In a statement to ITV News, signed off by the Chief Minister, the government confirmed it would retain ownership of the land where the new headquarters is set to be built:
"The land on which Cyril Le Marquand was built is owned by the States of Jersey, and will always remain in the ownership of the States of Jersey. The developer will fund the construction of the building. On completion, the Government will occupy and rent the building for an initial (maximum) three year option period, during which time the Government may choose to buy the building. If the Government does not choose to buy the building during this option period, the Government will then rent the building from the developer."