County council spends £400k on safety improvements at civic centre

14:42 10 March 2014

Devon County Council is spending £200,000 replacing fire doors at the civic centre in Barnstaple.

Devon County Council is spending £200,000 replacing fire doors at the civic centre in Barnstaple.

Archant

Upgrades ‘essential’ despite uncertainty over future of Barnstaple building.

DEVON County Council is spending nearly £400,000 on safety upgrades at the civic centre in Barnstaple – despite uncertainty over the future of the building.

Half the building could be empty by the end of the year but the council said it was carrying out the overhaul to comply with fire safety legislation.

Around 200 fire doors are being replaced as part of a planned maintenance contract awarded in November last year.

The work also includes building fire protection; links to the fire alarm system; protection in non-accessible areas; and re-configuration of the internal structure to meet current fire safety regulations.

The anticipated costs, which are yet to be finalised, are expected to be around £380,000

The county council is currently making £28million worth of cuts – including to day centres, residential homes and the youth service – because of a government funding squeeze.

A spokesman said fire safety audits had flagged up the ‘essential’ programme of work, expected to be completed shortly.

“The safety of staff and visitors in all of our buildings, including the civic centre in Barnstaple, is of paramount importance,” said the spokesperson.

“This work is essential regardless of whether the building is fully occupied or whether it will be vacated at some point in the future.”

Earlier this month, the Gazette reported that North Devon Council, which occupies just under half the building, had signalled its intention to find alternative premises.

Last week, architects revealed speculative plans to transform the building into riverside residential apartments, although the county council said no decisions had been made about the future of the building.

The county council has around 185 staff based at the civic centre. In addition to the district council, the main occupiers are HM Courts Service, the BBC, and the police, who occupy a separate building next door.

The county council spokesman added: “It’s very early days. We understand that North Devon Council would like to vacate the building. We’re discussing that with them with a view to ensuring the interests of both organisations are achieved.

“As part of our estates strategy more broadly, we are continually reviewing all our properties including the civic centre and other properties in Barnstaple.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 08:00
Justin Wallace, former Bideford Round Table chairman; Dr Robin Buckland, North Devon Children’s Holiday Foundation; and Alex Dziurzynski, Bideford Round Table events coordinator.

The Bideford Round Table has raised nearly £3,000 to provide holidays of a lifetime for children with serious illnesses and disabilities.

Read more
Fri, 14:58
David Cameron visiting Barnstaple this morning. Picture © Guy Harrop

Catch up with the latest General Election goings on and ministerial visits in pictures

Read more
Fri, 10:03
The new Ilfracombe launch and recovery vehicle being put through its paces on Instow beach.

£1million launch and recovery vehicle begins training exercises in North Devon

Read more
Fri, 09:37

Tractor severely damaged after accidentally catching fire near Lynton yesterday (Thursday).

Read more
Fri, 09:08
Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

Read more
Fri, 09:05

The 34-year-old will appear at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on 30 charges of fraud next month.

Read more
Fri, 08:00
What are you doing to celebrate VE Day in North Devon?

Are you doing anything to celebrate 70 years since World War two formally ended? Tell us about your VE Day celebrations.

Read more
Fri, 07:00
Frankie Moore serves his gran (lt) and Mike and Mel Braddick some salad at the Westward Ho! Big Lunch last year.

Tickets to the free community Big Lunch are expected to be in high demand, according to organisers.

Read more
Thu, 12:10

Latest crime figures show a 5.2 per cent drop in crime across Devon and Cornwall against last year.

Read more
Thu, 11:17
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has a selfie taken as he meets Labour supporters in Ipswich yesterday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour is accusing the Conservatives of planning the biggest spending cuts in any of the world’s advanced economies as the parties again prepare to trade blows on the economy.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder