North Somerset Council's Clevedon offices could be sold off

North Somerset Council's Castlewood offices in Clevedon. Credit: Google

Hundreds of workers could leave Clevedon if North Somerset Council sells or redevelops its offices.

With vast numbers of staff working from home, officers said the Castlewood base is surplus to requirements. 

Councillors will decide its fate when they meet next week. 

A report says the council could cut costs and reduce its carbon footprint by releasing the Tickenham Road site for disposal or redevelopment, or it could be repurposed for another public use. 

Castlewood has been the primary site for a number of services since the council moved in in 2010, but it has largely been closed during the pandemic, is inefficient, has a maintenance backlog and would cost £1.1million a year to keep open. 

“Consistent evidence” shows the authority does not need to accommodate all its workforce within its own buildings all the time, and Weston Town Hall is big enough. It will be upgraded to allow for flexible working. 

Nearly 70% of council staff live in the greater Weston area, compared to 11% in Clevedon.

The report says: “While the withdrawal from the local economy of approximately 700 workers from the Castlewood site is not insignificant, the site is approximately 1km from Clevedon town centre, and most day-to-day footfall of employees is to the local service station shop.

“North Somerset Council is by far the largest employer within Weston town centre.

“Due to the proximity of Weston Town Hall to local business and that parts of the town centre are characterised as having some of the highest levels of deprivation in England, it is believed that the comparative impact of withdrawing from Weston would have a significantly greater local economic impact than withdrawing from Clevedon.”

The full council meets on February 15. 

Credit: Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter