Comparing cost options

An example of what the new Northumberland County Council headquarters in Ashington could look like.
An example of what the new Northumberland County Council headquarters in Ashington could look like.

The county council’s costs comparison shows that a new-build headquarters in Ashington will cost £15.7million less over 25 years than staying at County Hall in Morpeth.

A large part of this is due to the money which needs to be spend on County Hall to bring it up to modern standards – estimated at £21.25million.

Some of the repairs and refurbishment costs needed at the current County Hall.

Some of the repairs and refurbishment costs needed at the current County Hall.

The £21.25million consists of: £12.38million – remodelling and refurbishment cost (including stripping out existing engineering services and internal walls; repairs to roof, external walls and car-parking areas; window replacement; new engineering services; internal partition walls; floor coverings, ceilings and decoration); £4.73million – fit-out cost (furniture, fittings and equipment); £1.86million – construction inflation between estimation and tender exercise; £2.28million – contingency.

The new building would also be more energy-efficient; the original GVA report commissioned by the county council estimated the annual utility costs as £360,000 at the existing County Hall compared to £250,000 at the new HQ –30 per cent less a year.

Over 25 years, staying at County Hall would cost £21.25million in building costs plus £32.41million in operation and maintenance costs plus £3.75million in interest payments to fund the expenditure. Selling part of the Loansdean site would bring in £3.15million, leaving a total of £54.25million.

Meanwhile, for a new HQ in Ashington, building costs would be £34.4million, operation and maintenance £22.2million and interest £5.04million. The sale of Loansdean and County Hall would bring in £10.11million and other offices in Ashington £12.98million, totalling £38.54million.