Relocation of staff saves council £10m

Moorfoot building
Moorfoot building
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SHEFFIELD Council is hoping to save £10 million a year on rent by moving more offices into the Moorfoot building.

The authority’s ruling cabinet is set to propose the move at a meeting on Wednesday, as part of a new review of buildings used by council departments to help cut costs.

Several departments have already been moved into Moorfoot, the former Government offices which the council bought as an investment for when land values rise to sell for redevelopment.

Sheffield Council said greater use of the building would be an advantage because the authority owns it and there are no ties to a lease or contract, allowing money to be saved and greater flexibility.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for finance, said: “There are a number of reasons why we need to make some significant changes to our office space, but doing nothing is not an option.

“One of the biggest factors is our need to reduce costs.

“Funding reductions mean we have less money to spend on accommodation, while inflation would inevitably lead to our costs continuing to rise, even if we made no changes.

“Alongside this, a number of leases on existing buildings are due to come to an end over the next four years and it makes sense for us not to renew these, as by doing so we would tie ourselves to potentially costly properties for long periods of time.

“By reducing the number of buildings we use, we will also significantly reduce our carbon footprint, minimising our environmental impact.”

The rationalisation of existing office space would result in around 2,600 staff being located at Moorfoot and could potentially increase retail activity at the bottom of The Moor, the council said.

If the building is retained for the medium term, the council proposes to upgrade streets around the area and open up the walkway beneath it, allowing direct access between The Moor and London Road.

As part of the need to make better use of available space, the council is also looking at rolling out a programme called Workstyle across all its offices.

The idea is allow more staff to work remotely so desks in offices can be shared.

The future use of the Town Hall is also being considered as part of the accommodation strategy.

Hundreds of staff have already been moved to Moorfoot, in a process started by the old Lib Dem administration, but when the process is complete, it could save £9.58 million a year.

The council currently has staff based at 26 sites but is proposing to cut them to just four, plus district offices.

Reducing the number of buildings will save on rates, lighting and heating and reduce the council’s carbon footprint, the authority said.