Comparing cost options
The county council's costs comparison shows that a new-build headquarters in Ashington will cost Â£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.
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.