Durham County Council set to quit Aykley Heads HQ

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Durham County Council could be set to leave its base at Aykley Heads under new proposals.

The authority’s cabinet will be asked to endorse a plan to vacate the current HQ on the outskirts of Durham City and to move off the site to pave the way for “significant private sector investment”.

Members will also be asked to maintain the authority’s footprint across the county and to agree to the principle of relocating the HQ to a city centre location.

Depending on the outcome of discussions on the County Durham Plan, between 2,500 and 6,000 new private sector jobs could be secured on the site.

A report to be considered by members next week on July 15 outlines the costs and savings linked to the proposed move, which is the next stage in the authority’s Office Accommodation Programme.

Cabinet member for economic regeneration, Coun Neil Foster, said: “We have an opportunity we should not miss to pave the way for the sort of investment which will be life-changing for families across the county.

“We desperately need more and higher paid jobs for residents and take the chance to reduce our own costs at the same time.

“Such a move would require considerable initial investment but the economic potential of the Aykley Heads site shouldn’t be underestimated and to unlock this potential we must relocate.”

A move for the council’s HQ to a city centre location would also see some staff relocated to four sites across the county – Crook, Meadowfield, Seaham and Spennymoor.