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Council to explore options for its buildings

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The entra
Image
The entra

Rutland County Council wants to explore options for the future use of its buildings as it looks to improve services, save money and support investment in the local economy.

The Council already has an Asset Management Strategy, which aims to minimise the running costs of its estate and make sure any property it owns is helping, not hindering, the delivery of good public services. To achieve these aims, Rutland County Council wants to carry out work to consider how seven of its buildings could be adapted or used differently.

Cabinet on Tuesday 16 April will consider a report that seeks approval to investigate two possible options for the future use of the Council’s main Catmose House office, as well as Rutland County Museum and the Register Office. 

If found to be viable following detailed investigation work, both options would lead to investment in Rutland County Museum, helping to preserve the building as a local heritage attraction and community asset. One of the options would look at whether the Council’s main offices, Council Chamber and workforce could be relocated alongside the Museum to create a new civic administration centre. The other option would look at concentrating the Council’s main offices on the newer build portion of the current Catmose House site, with substantial refurbishments.

“At a time when energy and building costs remain extremely high, all councils are looking closely at their property portfolios to make sure these assets are providing genuine value for taxpayers’ money. We need to do the same but want to go a step further and look at how we could also use our buildings to rejuvenate the local area and improve the services we provide. 

“Our big challenge is that three of our key assets – Catmose House, Rutland County Museum and the Register Office – are all Grade 2 listed buildings. They’re expensive to run, hard to maintain and were never meant to be used in the way they are now. We also know these are much-loved and historically significant buildings that form part of the fabric of Oakham, so want to preserve them. We think we have two possible solutions that would help us to work more efficiently and effectively, while still safeguarding the future of the Museum and its collection of artefacts. The next step is to investigate both options and come up with more detailed proposals that can be considered further.”

Councillor Andrew Johnson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources

In addition to Catmose House, Rutland County Museum and the Register Office, Rutland County Council wants to develop detailed long-term plans for Oakham Enterprise Park (OEP), The King Centre and its transport depot at Ashwell. OEP and the King Centre provide space for a large number of local businesses and are both operating at full or near-full capacity. The transport depot is a small site damaged by recent flooding and no longer fit for purpose. 

Rutland County Council has already confirmed plans to develop the former Jules House building in Oakham into a new community asset, as part of its joint Levelling Up programme with Melton Borough Council. Similarly, the Council has plans to make greater use of local libraries, to provide more services out in the community and make these easier to access.

“There is huge potential in how we decide to use our buildings in the future. We feel strongly that targeted investment in the right Council assets can lead to demonstrable improvements in the services that people rely on, while also helping us to become more financially sustainable in the future. This is an exciting prospect and something we know residents will be keen to follow, as we begin our detailed investigation work.”

Councillor Andrew Johnson

The Cabinet report on Rutland County Council’s corporate assets (Report 35/2024) is available to read on our Meetings page, together with details of how to follow April’s Cabinet meeting live online. 

Part of the report is exempt from public view because it contains commercially sensitive financial information.
 

Catmose Sports Centre - Link - Special Council papers

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