Staff move planned for civic hub
A completion date has been set for a new civic hub which will bring several public services under one roof.
Constructor Kier Construction Northern says Castle House in central Newcastle will be ready to hand over by June 25.ICT work will then need to be carried out, and once complete, staff will begin moving in and the building will open to the public on July 16.
The £15.4 million building will house services from Staffordshire County Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Staffordshire Police and Aspire Housing, as well as becoming home to the town centre library and Newcastle Register Office.
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “Castle House will provide many services to the public under one roof, save taxpayers millions of pounds in the long run and boost Newcastle’s town centre economy.
“Although it hasn’t cost taxpayers extra money and services have been continuing without interruption, the delay in opening has been frustrating for everyone.
“Nonetheless Castle House will benefit residents and taxpayers and is proof of our commitment to work with the Borough Council to improve Newcastle.”
After staff have moved from the borough council’s current Merrial Street base, the office site will become part of the wider redevelopment site at Ryecroft, where developer HDD has planning permission for a £27 million development with retail units, student accommodation and car parking.
Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “It is pleasing that Kier is finally approaching the handover.
“Castle House and the wider opportunities of the Ryecroft site present significant development projects which will support the local economy, provide joined-up working arrangements, bring much needed accommodation to the town and ensure that the Newcastle continues to thrive.”
The four-storey Castle House, which fronts on to Queens Gardens, will also include a large multi-function room and a study area for students, while the whole building will be wifi-enabled for public use.
Staffordshire Police will also have a counter presence in the building and Aspire Housing will be moving its customer service centre there.
John O’Callaghan, managing director, Kier Construction Northern, said: “We understand and share the councils’ frustration in the delay to the completion of this prestigious project and we are working hard to achieve completion as soon as possible. Castle House will be a real asset to the local area and residents when it opens, providing a wide range of important services under one roof, and we are looking forward to handing over the building in the near future.”