Harrogate Borough is undertaking a project to save money on its office accommodation costs. This is a project that has been running for a number of years and will go to a final decision next week, on 15 July 2015.
The Council’s preferred option is to largely sell the current estate and build a new office on the Knapping Mount site.
The Libdems have said that there is an alternate option that would involve refurbishing two of the existing offices while selling the remaining. This is an option that has not been fully investigated.
1. Harrogate Borough Councils preferred option – new build on Knapping Mount
- Sell Victoria House, Crescent Gardens and Scottsdale House
- Lease Springfield House as office space
- Overall costs of option £8.9M (this is the build cost minus the sale costs)
- Yearly savings in running costs approx £700K
The new build cost would be recovered by year 12 and by year 18 around £3.7M would be saved against the current office costs.
2. Liberal Democrats preferred option
- Retain Crescent Gardens and refurbish at a cost of £2.15M
- Retain Springfield House and refurbish at a cost of £500K
- Sell the Knapping Mount site for housing, the likely sale price is not known.
- Sell Victoria House, the likely sale price is not known.
The yearly savings in running costs are not clear, but the running cost of Victoria House, Knapping Mount and Scottsdale House would be removed. If the savings with a new build are £700K then this option would likely have a saving less than that. An estimate of £150K per year has been used for calculations.
Working on conservative estimates that the sale of Victoria House, Scottsdale House and Knapping Mount would see a £2.5M income to the Council and that operating from two sites would save £150K per year, then this option would break even by year 2. However, by year 18 the overall savings would be £2.4M
These figures should be used with some caution given that they are estimates, but shows greater longer term savings with the new build option.